The surprise of the winter has been an adorable, fuzzy vole and a highly veracious shrew. Our new friend the vole would dart out from the snow bank, grab a mouth full of seeds and dart back in, like he was playing a game of peek-a-boo. The shrew would pounce on the sunflower seeds like a cat on a mouse. It is amazing how much energy they have.
|Adirondack Shrew, J. Parnapy|
As William slumbers during nap time, our friend the vole is playing his game of pee-a-boo again. The Woodland Vole (Microtus pineterum) uses tunnel systems like the one in the snow that is used to gain access to the sunflower seeds. While voles store food in caches, the high fat content sunflower seeds are a tasty treat. Voles will eat; roots, tubers, forbs, grasses, fruit, bark, fungi, insects and seeds. They can breed at any time from late March through August, with 1-4 litters produced a year with between 1-6 young. That can equal many voles. The Adirondacks are home to the Meadow Vole, Red-backed Vole and the Rock Vole.
These unique and amazing creatures have given my family countless hours of enjoyment and wonder. It will be interesting to see what other new animals visit this coming year.