How local wildlife are handling the cold nights - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

How local wildlife are handling the cold nights

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) — Temperatures have come up a few degrees for the first half of this week, but at night, San Diego is still pretty chilly. 

We humans crank up the heat when it gets cold, but how do animals in the wild survive the cooler winter temperatures?  

While humans have the option of adding on layers, animals have to rely on their biology or resources to stay warm in the wild. 

"Our animals are built to adapt to it," explained Ali Crumpacker, Director of the Fund For Animals Wildlife Center In Ramona. "Bobcats have a thick coat of fur [and]  they'll huddle together, they'll find a warm spot [or] an area they can stay overnight and use their body warmth for that." 

Other furry creatures have other ways to survive the cold.       

"Animals such as coyotes, some of your burrowing animals - like ground squirrels - are going underground," Crumpacker said. "And underground is a lot warmer than above ground where you have your wind chill going on." 

As for our scaly friends, snakes -  being cold-blooded -  don't shiver or put on more fat, so they bask in the sun and huddle.  

"Certain animals, like rattle snakes, surprisingly will actually huddle together and they'll share some communal body warmth in the colder weather," Crumpacker said.  

Seed and insect eaters are going where things are flowering and heading south to Mexico and South America. 

"But if they haven't migrated, what they do in our area is they fluff up their feathers - they push their feathers away from their bodies," Crumpacker said. "[They] create almost like a down coat – which is made of feathers for humans."  

Luckily San Diego doesn't get that cold compared to other parts of the country. Still, Crumpacker explained how we can help the wildlife. 

"If you have bird boxes, owl boxes, bat boxes even - those are great resources for native wild animals that do stick around," she said. 

But whatever you don't feed wild animals.  

"They might be going under your car, finding that hole in your garage [or] under your porch, sitting up in the furnaces or crawling up in your attic," Crumpacker said.  

Crumpacker says now is the time to double check your home and secure it  

"Wild animals - they'll be fine," Crupacker said. "Domestic animals - make sure you are taking care of them." 

The only wildlife that are safe to feed are hummingbirds. And you may be noticing a lot of them right now, because January is courting and nesting season for them. 

You can help them out by providing a clean feeder and nesting materials.  

The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center in Ramona houses orphaned and other injured wildlife with the goal of releasing them back into the wild.

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