Not only can you look for animals in winter, you can look for evidence of them, especially if it has rained or snowed recently. You can also take the time now to learn about the animals that you won't see.
|Keep a record of animal tracks you have observed in the snow or mud. Record your findings in your nature journal along with a drawing, the date, the weather, the time of day, and the type of animal if you have identified it at this time.|
|Compare a dog’s and a cat’s footprints in the snow or mud.|
I have a lot of trouble identifying animal tracks, so it is difficult for me to teach my children how to identify them. I decided to use some time inside to help them learn what the different tracks look like so that when we go on our nature walks, perhaps they can better identify them.
I cut out pictures of animal tracks and layed them out on the table. Around the room I taped pictures of the corresponding animals. I gave the boys the boys a "field guide" and had them match the tracks with the animals.
|Also, if you are in Eastern North America, this little book is great for track identification.|
It is so small it can fit in a pocket to take with you on a nature walk.
Research an animal that hibernates and record what you learn in your nature notebook. You can also sketch your animal and what its tracks look like.
James drew fish dormant under the ice, and a raccoon hibernating. Sam drew a bear in dormancy. Quentin drew a bat in hibernation. Quentin also drew groundhogs in dormancy.
|More ideas for winter nature study at the Handbook of Nature Study blog.|
This was originally posted Feb. 27.2009