This month’s Take Five takes you on a journey into the night! As we prepare for a good night’s sleep, which creatures are preparing for an active evening on the prowl? As the days get longer and spring approaches, take a moment to investigate these night hawks!
- Northern Saw Whet – This beautiful but rarely seen owl inhabits remote areas and spends daylight hours in seclusion. Being a nocturnal creature, the owl utilizes its heightened sense of smell and keen eyesight to its advantage. Most other nocturnal species share heightened senses adaptable to nighttime conditions.
- Skunk – You may already know skunks are nocturnal creatures, but did you know the smell of a skunk can travel one kilometre in the wind? You might have already come across this unfriendly scent this year – skunks come out of their hibernation in late February and are fully active by the end March.
- Raccoon – There’s more to raccoons than tipping over garbage cans in the night! Raccoons prepare their young for life’s journey by teaching them to hunt, climb and swim within their first year. Although the males of the litter often leave after these lessons are taught, juvenile females tend to stay close to their home range.
- Red Fox – The red fox hunts primarily at night, from dusk through until the early morning. Its ability to hear low-frequency sounds allow it to detect animals as they dig and burrow underground. This advantage greatly helps with the success of the fox’s nighttime hunts.
- Toad – Although you may have seen toads out and about during the day, these creatures are primarily nocturnal. Preferring shady and damp conditions, toads spend much of their time underground, beneath logs or within the crevices of rocks. You can visit WildAboutGardening.org to learn how to attract toads and other amphibians to your yard!