By John Harrod, Manager, DuPont Environmental Education Center
Though we have not had much snow yet in Delaware, I have had the opportunity to observe other white wonders of nature in the marsh at the Russell W. Peterson Urban Wildlife Refuge. On a recent walk, I saw some wildlife that boast white on their bodies.
I was delighted at the unexpected sighting of a piebald White-tailed Deer among the grasses. Piebald animals lack pigment on portions of their bodies.
A Northern Harrier was seen skimming over the marsh hunting for small mammals. It was easily identified by the large white patch on its rump.
I also caught a glimpse of an Opossum wandering into the reeds. When the weather gets cold and food is scarcer, nocturnal animals can often be found looking for sustenance during the day. The word “opossum” is derived from Algonquian, meaning “white beast.”
Visit us at the DuPont Environmental Education Center over the winter holiday break and see what wildlife you can find. Use DEEC’s balcony to overlook the marsh or join us on one of our free or low-cost walks into the marsh.