Conservation Corner - Northern Michigan wildlife adapt during winter months

McKenzie Fox

Winter is here in Antrim County, and while we can bundle up and brave the cold to partake in outdoor activities, animals do not have the luxury of snow pants and a warm coat.  Many animals also do not have the luxury of access to food year-round like we do through our grocery stores.  Winter is hard on most animals, and because of that, they have adaptations to survive.

Some animals migrate, meaning that they move to an alternate location for the duration of winter.  Animals migrate because of lack of access to food and/or cold weather conditions.  Animals that migrate from Michigan to more mild locations include butterflies and birds such as robins and hummingbirds.  Some birds even migrate to Michigan (from more northern locations) during the winter, including snow buntings and crossbills.  Waterfowl migrate to find open water so they may not migrate if there is open water during the winter.  Some animals migrate short distances and their migration might be east-west instead of south.  This includes deer in the U.P. who move away from Lake Superior to avoid heavy snowfall

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