Browse: when animals like deer eat leaves or other plant parts.
Cache: a place where something is stored or hidden; the act of storing or hiding something.
Cavity: a hole, often in a tree, formed either by rot or by animals.
Consume: to eat something.
Excavate: to dig a hole or uncover the dirt from something.
Hibernate: the act of sleeping through the cold winter months, like some animals do to survive the winter... more
Torpor: a state of inactivity that often saves energy.
The first sound you’ll hear in the temperate forest are the birds. You may not see them, but if you listen closely you can hear many different bird calls. In fact, experienced biologists can identify many birds just by the calls they hear. The Pileated Woodpecker, a rare temperate forest woodpecker, has a distinctive call that you may learn to recognize.
When winter comes, the forest turns from noisy to nearly silent. Many temperate forest birds are migratory, meaning that while they spend summers in temperate forests, they fly south every winter to find food.
Bears spend summers rearing young and eating as much as possible to store fat for winter, when they won't eat for up to 7 months.
However, not all animals hibernate. Deer are active all winter, and browse on bark and buds, as well as grass they can dig up from under the snow, and leaves from any plants that keep their leaves through the winter.
Fungi are an interesting group of organisms which are neither plants nor animals, but play important roles in the forest. Fungi participate in decomposition of organic matter in the soil.
Some mushrooms can be quite spectacular, like the Giant Puffball mushroom, which is perfectly white, and can be the size and shape of a soccer ball.
Oyster mushrooms are a tasty example, but not all mushrooms are edible and many are toxic or deadly to eat. Never try eating wild mushrooms unless you know what you are doing.
Last but not least are the insects. There are many, many species of insects in the forest, though you may not see them. Some, like stick bugs, use camouflage to avoid being seen and eaten. There are many herbivorous insects that eat vegetation.
Drew Peltier. (2014, July 22). Animals of the Temperate Forest. ASU - Ask A Biologist. Retrieved December 5, 2023 from https://askabiologist.asu.edu/animals-temperate-forest
Drew Peltier. "Animals of the Temperate Forest". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 22 July, 2014. https://askabiologist.asu.edu/animals-temperate-forest
Drew Peltier. "Animals of the Temperate Forest". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 22 Jul 2014. ASU - Ask A Biologist, Web. 5 Dec 2023. https://askabiologist.asu.edu/animals-temperate-forest
Falling snow isn't stopping this whitetail deer. Deer stay active in the forest all winter.