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Seasons: Autumn

Updated Friday 25th January 2013

Autumn is harvest time, when many foods are in abundance.

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Autumn sparks a riot of activity. Days and nights may still be mild but the creeping chill and blustering winds that strip the colourful dry leaves from trees increase the sense of urgency for winter preparations. Foraging and feeding become a focus for birds and mammals. Animals, including birds and flying insects such as butterflies not intending to stay for winter are making their travel preparations, storing internal energy if they are large enough, perhaps grouping together and taking practice flights before setting out on their migratory routes.

Species that remain overwinter might take on a new winter wardrobe. Growing denser, longer winter coats keeps out some of the chill for many mammals, whereas birds might thicken their plumage. Autumn might be the turn in the cycle leading to dormancy but new life is also created as the larger mammals such as deer have their rutting seasons, with dominant males bellowing and asserting their harem mating rights through shows of strength. 

Explore the visually rich season with our autumn-themed carousel below.

Seasons: Autumn carousel

A feast of autumn harvest produce and spectacular display of senescing leaves.

A spectacular autumn display of changing leaves marks the turning of the seasons.
Copyright Milous Chab | Dreamstime.com Find the latest autumnal observations. Learn more about wildlife, share your interest with a friendly community and get help identifying what you have seen. Copyright iSpot How species prepare themselves to survive the winter.
Copyright © Paleka | Dreamstime.com The abundance of seasonal offerings are ready for eating or gathering.
Copyright Juliasha | Dreamstime.com
Copyright Background: Borusikk | Dreamstime.com

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This feature was created to support the new BBC One series The Great British Year.

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