Winter Wild! Wildlife You May See On The Cape This Winter

It may seem as though Cape Cod sleeps during the colder months. Certainly, it lacks the hustle and bustle and traffic of the busy summer months, but that lack of human masses can provide a unique opportunity to winter visitors.

Winter wildlife here on the Cape is thriving. Nature, which may seem as vacant as public parking lots this time of year, is actually quite alive and flourishing. There are many species of mammal and feathered friend who make their habitats in the frosty fields and forests. And, if you’re lucky, you might see some of them for yourself.

Over 450 species of wildlife call Cape Cod home, many of which remain in winter, including rabbit, deer, red fox, coyote, wild turkey, bat, skunk, any number of bird species, and many others. There are innumerable farms, parks, conservation areas and hiking trails that welcome winter visitors. Some charge a fee, so come prepared.

The best opportunities to catch a glimpse of our local species are in the early morning – the least likely time for them to find humans around. Here are just a few great spots where you might catch a glimpse of one or more of our year-round residents in the wild. Don’t forget to bring your camera and binoculars! Oh, and dress for the weather.

Nickerson State Park, Brewster
Located just off of Route 6A in Brewster, Nickerson State Park boasts almost 1,800 acres of forest and ponds to explore, and is a great place to find deer, turkeys and other wildlife.

Mashpee River Woodlands, Mashpee
Located off Mashpee Neck Road, the River Woodlands consists of 400 acres with eight miles of trails. Popular with birdwatchers, those who come here early in the morning may also be lucky enough to see deer and other wildlife.

Indian Lands Conservation Area, Dennis

Just behind the town offices on Main Street, the Indian Lands are a great place to spend a few hours at any time of year but, if you’re looking to spot some wildlife, you stand a good chance of glimpsing any number of animals, including birds and even fiddler crabs.

Maple Swamp Conservation Area, Sandwich

These 500 acres are located off the service road between Exits 3 and 4. The topography of the area makes this spot a bit tough for those who aren’t in really good shape, but it is well worth the visit. Wildlife of all kinds frequents this area, including deer.

Fort Hill, Eastham
Fort Hill has beautiful trails that overlook marshes, with views of the ocean just beyond. There are lots of rabbits in this area, as well as turkeys and deer. Fort Hill is located just off Route 6.

Callery-Darling Conservation Area, Yarmouth
This conservation area stretches from Homers Dock Road to the salt marshes west of Center Street and is a wonderful place to explore. Aside from the many birds in the area (including great blue heron), visitors can often spot deer, foxes and rabbits.

By Ann Luongo, Lifestyle Reporter

About Ann Luongo

Ann Luongo is the Marketing Writer and Lifestyle Reporter for, and has been writing for Cape Cod and South Shore publications for over 15 years.
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