Nice Weather Changes Some Animal Habits

January 10, 2012 Updated Jan 10, 2012 at 5:40 PM EDT

By Jaclyn Asztalos

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January 10, 2012 Updated Jan 10, 2012 at 5:40 PM EDT

Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW) - Temperatures are in the 40's this January in Western New York. Many people already have spring fever but for animals in the area, the nice weather has them a bit out of sorts.

"With the warmer weather you see animals that you would normally think of as hibernator like squirrels and some of the animals like that," Curator of Education with the Buffalo Zoo Tiffany Vanderwerf said.

Other animals that want to get out and explore when it's nice weather are bears, raccoons, possums and woodchucks.

"It starts as a result of a lack of daylight hours, their system slows down. It's all about the lack of food. If there was lots of food they wouldn't experience hibernation at all," Biologist with the New York Department of Environmental Conservation Tim Spierto said.

Vanderwerf said there is much more food available this year.

"There maybe food that's lasting a little long and some torpor hibernator it gives them the chance to refuel," Vanderwerf said.

Tiffany Vanderwerf with the Buffalo Zoo said this weather may not effect the migration of animals including birds as much but weather changes could prevent animals from getting to their destination safely.

Experts said this is a weather pattern that may not be going anywhere anytime soon.

"We see these shifts in weather patters and we'll be seeing more of them as years progress. It's basically the normal freaky weather added to the climate change on top of warming climate. It will have more and more of an effect on animals and plants," Vanderwerf said.

As for the rest of the season, no one knows what it will bring. One thing is for certain, just like many Western New Yorkers, these animals will head right back inside if Old Man Winter comes our way.