The mild winter and last month’s record high temperatures has had a varied impact on native wildlife. As we reported last week on KNIA/KRLS News, hummingbirds are migrating much earlier than normal. Marion County Naturalist Marla Mertz says that the winter was good for pheasants in particular. The four winters previous to this one were harsh enough to drive down the pheasant population. Mertz says that a couple more mild winters will help bring that population back up.
She comments that the winter was hard on bats. The mild winter meant that the bats weren’t always in hibernation, and Mertz says they received a lot of bat calls.
She also notes that ticks are out in strong numbers much earlier than normal due to the mild winter and recommends everyone that goes into the outdoors check themselves very well for the insects afterward.