Signs of the Seasons: February
Please Report
Your Sightings!
Report Your Sightings
Sunlight drives all living systems. Energy from the sun increases, temperatures rise, and plant growth begins. January brings new life in a black bear den. Look inside the den with the North American Bear Center's web camera. With longer days and above average winter temperatures across the Northern Hemisphere what do you notice?

This Week's Update Includes:

Image of the Week
Students Receive Symbolic Monarchs in Mexico
Photo: Don Gawlik
First Signs of Spring
Report Changes in Daylight: February 1
Put your dot on the map to tell the story about sunlight in your hometown. Follow the sunlight reports from a far-away location. Patterns are emerging, what are they revealing?

As seasons change in both Hemispheres, use the photoperiod map as a springboard for discovery.

Students Receive Symbolic Monarchs in Mexico
Report Changes in Daylight

Signs of Spring: Birth in a Bear Den

Black bears hibernate through the coldest winter weather in the north. During this time females can give birth, often while the still hibernating. A camera set up in the den of a 3-year old black bear named Jewel allows researchers to learn more about this phenomenon. Watch special video clips or live stream from the North American Bear Center in Ely, Minnesota.

Video Credit: North American Bear Center

Jewel in her den
Cr: North American Bear Center
Jewel in her den
News: Report Seasonal Observations
Across North America temperatures have been warmer than average this winter. Here are a few observations for January.
  • 01/31/12 Stockton, Illinois: Was outside filling bird feeders when I heard a familiar sound- there was a male bluebird checking out one of the houses. This is WEEKS earlier than I have ever had one show up.
  • 01/30/12 Indiana: A big flock of Sandhill Cranes is headed north in Indiana. On the 30th of JANUARY! Normally I see the cranes headed south in November and north in March. This year is anything but normal.
  • 01/27/12 Gowganda, Ontario: We have had lots of rain and freezing drizzle which would be normal..if it was late February!
  • 01/13/12 Norwich, Vermont: The first sign of spring I wait for in January is the chickadee's spring song. I heard it this morning while taking a walk in freezing rain!
Monarch Butterfly Winter Sightings
Signs of Spring
(map | list)
Look for patterns of seasonal change, then report observations from your part of the world. What are you seeing?

The next Signs of the Season update will be posted on March 1, 2012.