Week 9 Winter Mammals
1. Read chapter nine in Discover Nature in Winter. Mammals in general tend to be shy of humans. In the winter, it is even more difficult to observe mammals. The chapter suggests looking for signs of mammals instead like tracks and scat. Highlight ideas for your family to try this week while you are outdoors and looking for mammals.
2. Our family is going to review the chart showing different animal tracks on page 182 and 183. We might try sketching some of the tracks into our nature journal as a reference for future outdoor time. In our area, we often come across animal scat as we hike and we are going to familiarize ourselves with the various kinds of scat by studying the illustrations in this chapter.
For families wanting to participate that do not have the Discover Winter in Nature book, I will list a few simple nature study ideas that you can try with your family.
- 1. 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.
- 2. Compare a dog’s and a cat’s footprints in the snow or mud.
- 3. 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.
Here is a link that will help you out with animal tracks:
Animal Tracks at Beartracker
I think this is a fantastic online resource for nature study!
You might want to pull your copy of Fun With Nature out and read over the chapter titled: “Rabbits, Squirrels, and Chipmunks” and also “Tracks, Scats, and Signs”. I know a lot of us have this terrific resource on our shelves and we are not using it as much as we should.