Friday, December 31, 2010

Do Raccoons Hibernate?


Do Raccoons Hibernate?, originally uploaded by Hannibals Animals.

If you are asking the question do raccoons hibernate in the winter, the answer is not so simple. There are times when the animal does sleep for long periods of time. The raccoon is also known for waking up from time to time and leaving the den area. This can also depend on the region because in warmer climates, raccoons may not hibernate at all and they may stay active all year round. So it may be impossible to answer the question, do raccoons hibernate during the winter, because of all the variables.

Another thing that can affect hibernation is mating. This occurs at the end of winter in January and February. During this time, raccoons are very active and although they are nocturnal, they can be seen during the day while trying to locate a mate. But most of the time, if the temperature goes below 25 degrees; a raccoon will retreat to the den. In some areas this happens frequently but in other areas it occurs only once or twice during the winter months. Where do raccoons hibernate in the winter?

Raccoons retreat to their dens to hibernate and they are usually located in hallowed out logs and trees. They can have more than one of these dens and they will sleep in the one they feel the most secure in, at the time. Although they are known for living in trees, they can also burrow under the ground to make dens. But unlike other animals that hibernate alone, the raccoon will hibernate with others. It isn’t unusual to see many raccoons hibernating together.

I found this guy yesterday scavenging in the snow, which brought up the question, do raccoons hibernate. Not on this day!

Uploaded by Hannibals Animals on 31 Dec 10, 5.30AM CST.

11 comments:

Montanagirl said...

That's a really nice shot of him - He's looking at you like "What are 'you' doing here? Guess you caught him by surprise. We have Raccoons here, but I've never seen one in town. My sister-in-law lives in the country along the Milk River, and she cannot put out anything hardly for the birds, as the Raccoons get at it.

Rick Kratzke said...

He has a look like if you turned your head he would definately be getting into trouble.

Whitetail Woods Blog / Deer Hunting and Blackpowder Shooting at it’s best.

upacreek333 said...

I love it! Answers to questions I never even thought I needed to ask... thanks for the helpful information. You've earned a follower today (I found you through the OBN!).

Chris
eatmorebrooktrout.com

Randy Emmitt said...

Hannibal,

Interesting! Yesterday we went for a walk in a nature park here in North Carolina. While sitting on a bench overlooking the Eno River we noticed a raccoon lounging about on the other side of the river. We sat quietly watching and when we got up it noticed us and quickly dropped into a hole in the ground just above the river. We barely have some snow on the ground as it is warming to 60 degrees this weekend.

Chris said...

One of my biggest wish will be to cross the Atlantic one day to see them and many more of the animals you do have... Beautiful picture... happy new year to you and your family!

Rusty said...

This is a fine looking fellow or gal you have there. Yes, they are all sleeping the cold weather away up in this part of the country. But once it starts warming up a bit, and they start feeling a little hungry - they will be back.
ATB!

Anni-chan said...

Hi

Wow very beautyful Photo! I myself had this photo remember a day that I was acquainted with a raccoon. Although I have not seen this little guy but I knew this was here. Because of an acquaintance he had unfortunately taken out of the tent with the pasta salad for dinner to be outside on the spacious lawn in front of the tents, including caravans. It was early morning really a surprise. Many greetings from Germany sends Anni-chan

vanilla said...

i like animals , nice..

Renee Brooks said...

There is a raccoon that scoots on its belly to get around. It can't climb. We feed it dry cat food. Will it die? I feel really bad for it.

Shari Parkin said...

Great info! I live in Utah were we have cold winters. I have a lot of Raccoon that I feed throughout spring, summer & fall & I only occasionally see them in the winter months. It's now mid-October & the mamma Raccoon have just recently been bringing their pups along to eat. I leave them dry cat food every night & typically see anywhere from 5-15 Raccoon; sometimes 20+! They're beautiful creatures & I miss seeing them as often during winter.

dravocado said...

I live is a remote area outside of Palm Springs Ca . These smart creatures as many as 14 at a time come every nite of the year to my kitchen glass door and stand on their hind feet and lean against the glass to tell me they are ready for me to hand feed them. After over a year of hand-feeding them dry dog food they now let me rub their fur and caress their tails. Striped skunks, up to 7 at a time, in warmer months join in with them and I have videoed all of them together. The skunks loved to be petted and I do a skunk-reccoon petting "show" every evening. The skunks have been sleeping most of December. It is a magnificient experience that I have been enjoying for over 2 years. Never have been sprayed or bitten.