THROUGH THE WOODS: Wildlife in the storm

Photo by Nancy Jane Kern

THE WARNINGS from the weathermen and the power companies were correct. The ice storm at my home in the Town of Austerlitz was brutal, one I haven’t seen since 2013 or before. During the first night, there was crashing and snapping. About 5 a.m. the power went off and there was more sleet, rain, and snow.

My generator came on and I reported the outage to NYSEG. There were over a thousand homes without power in the area. I stayed up watched the poor birds attempt to land on the porch feeders. I went out later to replenish the food supply and found an assortment of small feathers and bird droppings by the recessed front door and under porch benches out of the storm. I was happy to provide shelter and wondered how other wildlife were fairing.

Snow blew around in the subzero temperatures and seemed much more than was predicted. Some large limbs had snapped off the tall pine trees and birches were bent to the ground along the field edges.

There was such a thick crust of ice and coating on everything there was little food available. Small deer licked up the kernels of corn thrown out for the birds. We complain about storms, but our wildlife has a much harder time of it.

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