Print and Go Back General [Print without images]

Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Updated: February 2, 5:05 PM ET
Female groundhog tops males in picking winters

Associated Press — Feb. 1, 2007

HOWELL, Mich.— Woody has something the nation's other prognosticating groundhogs don't.

Female intuition.

Other groundhogs — Gen. Beauregard Lee in Georgia, Sir Walter Wally in North Carolina and, of course, Punxsutawney Phil in Pennsylvania — might be more established, but Woody has a pretty good track record.

She has correctly predicted when spring would arrive six out of eight years.

Why is she so successful?

She relies on her stomach, said Richard Grant, executive director of the Howell Conference and Nature Center.

Grant said groundhogs eat a lot before the winter, but don't consume much during the colder months.

So, on Friday, if Woody comes out of her home, eats any of the food placed in front of her — such as bananas and peanuts — and stays out for at least 30 seconds, then spring is coming soon. If not, we're in for another six weeks of winter.

Grant said science proves that Woody's sex is an advantage.

Female groundhogs ``have a whole lot more responsibility,'' he said, including motherhood. ``What do male groundhogs do? They mate ... and then they get hit by cars.''