Nevada Wildlife's Sense for the Seasons - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Nevada Wildlife's Sense for the Seasons

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It's especially difficult to believe the folklore of Groundhog Day in Reno when we don't have any groundhogs. What we do have lots of is wild life who can sense the changing seasons.

 "A zeitgeber is a sign from nature that a change in seasons is coming," said Chris Healy of the Department of Wildlife. 

For example, bears know when to up their calorie intake based on the amount of sunlight during the day. Marmots like to hibernate as well. They can be hard to find this time of year, but by spring they will be all over the place. Kind of like Canada geese in the winter months who fly south for the milder weather. 

"This is the place to be for geese. We'll get anywhere from 8,000-10,000, sometimes more," said Healy. 

Geese are not the only ones with an eye to the sky. 

"Animals like deer, they migrate come the summer from the high summer range come down to winter range and then back and it's all based on rhythms of the season," said Healy. 

Predicting the strength or timing of a storm is more challenging. 

"I don't think they really can. They just react to the circumstances on the ground. A year like this where the foothills of Reno have a lot of snow well they just migrate a little bit further until they reach a place where the snow isn't there," said Healy. 

We even had a beaver show up in the parking lot of the KTVN studios right before the flood event this year, but Healy says it probably wasn't an omen.

"An old irrigation ditch is actually a pathway down towards the river so it does not surprise me that a beaver appeared right outside the station," said Healy. 

Who knows, maybe we'll see him again this year, but time will tell. In the meantime, the Climate Prediction Center shows a warmer than average February in Nevada with the possibility of a wetter than average month as well. 

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