Raccoons at Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Winter

I was driving along the auto tour road after sunrise on February 5th at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma when I noticed a raccoon walking on the edge of the road. I was able to pull up next to it and took a picture just as it turned to look at me before disappearing into the brush. Throughout the morning, I saw several more raccoons crossing the road. This was the most raccoon activity I have seen in a while.

Raccoon Foraging in February
Raccoon Foraging in February – Learn more about their winter survival strategies

Contrary to popular belief, raccoons do not hibernate during winter. Instead, they may enter a state of torpor. In colder climates, they seek shelter in dens like hollow spaces in trees, rock crevices, brush piles, and fallen logs. During torpor, raccoons slow their metabolism and sleep for a few weeks at a time, relying on accumulated fat stores for food. To conserve body heat, they may also share dens. However, raccoons wake up every couple of weeks to forage for food, restore body heat, and drink, so they do not hibernate but adjust their activity to survive the winter.

Image Information:

  • Date: 02/05/24
  • Time: 8:46 AM
  • Camera: Canon EOS R5
  • Lens: Canon RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM
  • ISO: 10000
  • Aperture: 8
  • Shutter: 1/2000
  • Exp. Comp.:+0.3
  • Lens (mm): 500
  • Program Mode: Manual

2 thoughts on “Raccoons at Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Winter”

  1. That’s interesting, I’ve been wondering how they were managing with that extreme cold they had last month. Tux

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