Alberta Nature Happenings - February

  • Time to put up a bird house or clean your existing ones.
  • Squirrel mating season.
  • Owls are the earliest nesters after beginning courtship in December and January. Listen for their nightly courtship serenades.
  • Feb 2 - Groundhog Day
  • Chickadees are courting one another with their "Hi Sweetie" call that you can often hear just stepping outside your door.
  • Great Backyard Bird Count, mid-month - Feb 15-18, 2019, www.birdsource.org/gbbc
  • Project FeederWatch continues
  • White-tailed jackrabbits offer a touch of the prairies on the university campuses in Edmonton and Calgary.
  • During February, the "hoo hoo" call of the great horned owl signifies that pairing has begun and breeding territories have been established.
  • Deer species have dropped their antlers
  • This is an excellent month to search along roads in northern Alberta for great grey and northern hawk owls.
  • Red- and Yellow-shafted Northern Flickers begin drilling holes for spring nesting. Put up a "flicker" specific nest box.
  • Bobcat and Lynx mating season.
  • Elk have settled into their winter ranges in the lowlands along rivers in Banff and Jasper. Motorists driving through the parks at night must remain aware of the presence of these large ungulates.
  • Cougars hunt actively throughout the year preying primarily on deer.
  • Porcupines are active throughout the winter, often feeding in a single tree for several days.
  • Black Bear cubs are born at the beginning of the month and they nurse while the sow sleeps.
  • Striped skunks remain inactive within their winter dens as long as 150 days.
  • Recent conifer burns are a good place to look for overwintering Black-backed Woodpeckers.
  • Black-backed Woodpeckers can often be located by listening for the soft tapping as they scale bark in a characteristic pattern. Check out the Whitemud Ravine in Edmonton where they have been seen (Jan 2018) or the Black Spruce Forest in St. Albert just north of the Enjoy Centre. Both places have trails for a pleasant nature walk.
  • Coyotes occasionally form small packs to hunt larger prey in winter.
  • Breeding season for wolves and coyotes, both are more visible at this time than at any other time of the year.
  • Beaver are secure in their lodges feeding on their underwater food caches.
  • On warm days, adult male Richardson's ground squirrels emerge from their burrows - most are pretty dopey from months of hibernation.
  • Full Moon - Feb 19, 2019