Many of Georgia’s summer-nesting songbirds have migrated south for the winter, but year-round residents — cardinals, bluebirds, blue jays, chickadees, woodpeckers and others — still brighten our woods and yards. In addition, several northern-nesting birds — kinglets, sparrows, yellow-rumped warblers, cedar waxwings and others — are spending the winter in Georgia.
Winter also is the best time of year to watch for waterfowl on wetlands, lakes, and rivers. Gray foxes, red foxes, opossums, bobcats and raccoons soon will begin courting and breeding. Rare and endangered right whales are arriving along the coast for their calving season.
Great horned and barred owls are courting; listen for their hooting. Eggs in some bald eagle nests may be close to hatching by Christmas Day.
IN THE SKY: From David Dundee, Tellus Science Museum astronomer: The Ursid meteor shower reaches a peak Sunday night of about 15 meteors per hour. Best viewing: In the east from about midnight until dawn. The moon will be new on Wednesday night. Only two planets are visible now: Venus is low in the west at dusk and sets about two hours later; Mars is low in the east about two hours before dawn, and will appear near the moon on Monday morning.