Winter is a beautiful time of year. The snow creates a scene of wonderland that we can only experience for a few months out of the year. And if you’re lucky enough to live in a place where you can get out and experience it, there are some amazing winter wildlife sightings that will blow your mind away. In this blog post, we’ll explore 9 of the most incredible winter wildlife sightings from around the world.
The majestic bald eagle
Bald eagles are quite a sight to behold. With their massive wingspan and powerful talons, they are truly majestic creatures. And while you might not think of them as being particularly cuddly, they are actually quite affectionate with their mates.
During the winter months, bald eagles can be seen perching in trees or flying high above the snow-covered landscape in search of food. They primarily eat fish, but will also scavenge for carrion if necessary.
While they are not typically aggressive towards humans, bald eagles have been known to attack people if they feel threatened or if they perceive a threat to their young. So it’s best to give them a wide berth if you see one in the wild.
Helpful tip: Our favorite getaway to see bald eagles in December is the Nelson Dewey State Park in Cassville, Wisconsin
The playful otter
If you thought otters were only found in tropical climates, think again! These playful pups can be found all over the world, and they love to frolic in the snow just as much as they enjoy swimming in the ocean.
Otters are known for their playfulness, and they often engage in wrestling matches and other physical play with their fellow otters. They are also very curious creatures, and they will often investigate anything that catches their attention.
In the wintertime, otters will huddle together to stay warm, but they will still occasionally come out to play. If you’re lucky enough to spot an otter on a winter walk, you’re sure to get a smile out of it!
Helpful tip: You can see river otters frolicking in ponds and puddles during winter in Yellowstone National Park!
The fascinating snowshoe hare
The snowshoe hare is one of the most fascinating creatures in the winter landscape. These little mammals are incredibly well-adapted to their cold, snowy environment and are a joy to watch as they go about their daily lives.
One of the most amazing things about snowshoe hares is their ability to change the color of their fur in order to camouflage themselves against the snow. In the winter, their fur turns white which helps them blend in with their surroundings and avoid being seen by predators. This is an amazing adaptation that allows them to survive in their harsh environment.
If you’re lucky enough to spot a snowshoe hare in the wild, you’re sure to be impressed by its beauty and resilience. These little creatures are truly remarkable and provide a wonderful opportunity to appreciate the natural world at its best.
Helpful Tip: Snowshoe Hares are commonly found in snow covered patches between coniferous forests – We see them all the time in the Rocky Mountains during winter!
The stunning trumpeter swan
The trumpeter swan is one of the most stunning birds you’ll ever see. These massive birds are all white, with black wingtips, and they have a long, curved neck. Trumpeter swans are the largest waterfowl in North America, and they’re also one of the heaviest flying birds in the world.
In the wild, trumpeter swans can live for up to 20 years. They mate for life, and they build their nests on top of floating mats of vegetation. Trumpeter swans typically have 4-6 cygnets (baby swans) at a time.
During the winter months, trumpeter swans migrate to warmer climates. In North America, they can be found in southern Canada and the northern United States. You might also see them in parts of Europe and Asia.
If you’re lucky enough to spot a trumpeter swan in the wild, you’re sure to be amazed by its beauty. These incredible birds are truly a sight to behold!
Helpful Tip: Come see them at the Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge in northwest Missouri.
The lovable Arctic fox
The Arctic fox is one of the most lovable animals in the winter wildlife scene. These small, snow-white mammals are incredibly cute, and their home range in the northernmost parts of North America, Europe, and Asia make them a truly unique sight. While they’re not the biggest or most impressive animal on this list, their adorableness makes them a favorite among winter wildlife watchers.
Helpful Tip: We’ve seen arctic foxes in Denali National Park!
The curious lynx
If you’re lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a lynx in the wild, you’re in for a treat. These curious creatures are shy but inquisitive, and their large eyes and tufted ears make them look like they’re always on the lookout for something interesting.
While they’re most often seen in the northern parts of North America, lynx have been known to travel south in search of food during periods of harsh weather. So if you’re hoping to spot one of these elusive animals, keep your eyes peeled during the winter months. You never know when or where you might see one!
Helpful Tip: You can catch this rare animal while snowshoeing in the North Cascades National Park!
The beautiful ermine
There’s something about the ermine that just exudes elegance. Perhaps it’s their sleek white fur, which is said to be softer than cashmere. Or maybe it’s their long, black-tipped tails, which give them a regal air. Whatever the reason, these little creatures are undeniably beautiful.
And they’re not just pretty to look at – ermines are also fascinating creatures. Did you know, for example, that they’re one of the few animals that change their coat color with the seasons? In winter, their fur turns white to blend in with the snow; in summer, it becomes brown or yellow to camouflage them in the grass.
What’s more, ermines are excellent hunters. They mainly eat small mammals like mice and voles, but they’re not above preying on birds and even fish (when they can catch them!). Their hunting skills are so impressive that they’ve even been known to take down deer and caribou – though thankfully, they don’t often target such large prey.
Helpful Tip: We’ve always seen the ermine on our winter visits to Rocky Mountain National Park.
The fascinating moose
The moose is an iconic Canadian animal, and there’s no better place to see one than in the wild. There are many different types of moose, but the most common in Canada is the North American moose. These massive animals can weigh up to 1,800 pounds and stand almost seven feet tall at the shoulder. They’re also excellent swimmers and can hold their breath for up to 30 seconds underwater.
Moose are most active in the early morning and late evening, so that’s the best time to spot one. They generally live in forests near lakes or wetlands, so keep your eyes peeled when you’re exploring these areas. If you’re lucky enough to see a moose in the wild, be sure to respect its space and keep your distance.
Helpful Tip: The moose is a beautiful winter sight in Yellowstone National Park!
The regal elk
There’s something truly special about seeing a regal elk in the wild. These magnificent creatures are the largest members of the deer family, and they’re often seen in winter as they forage for food. Elk are known for their striking antlers, which can grow up to six feet in length, and their distinctive call, which sounds like a high-pitched whistle. If you’re lucky enough to spot an elk in the wild, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.
Helpful Tip: You’d see lots of Elk in Rocky Mountain National Park while camping.
We hope you enjoyed our list of winter wildlife sightings that will blow your mind away! If you’re looking for even more ways to enjoy the winter season, be sure to check out our other blog post on 10 Fun Winter Activities That Will Keep You entertained. From buildling snowmen to skiing and snowboarding, there’s plenty of ways to enjoy the cold weather. So get out there and have some fun!