Outdoor Hour Challenge – Signs of Winter Mammals

Please note this is the very last Winter Wednesday challenge from the ebook and next week we’ll be moving on to the Learning About Birds with the Outdoor Hour Challenge ebook. You can get a copy with your Ultimate Naturalist Membership. Use the discount code NATURE5 to receive $5 off an Ultimate Naturalist Membership.


Winter Mammal Study Tracks @handbookofnaturestudy

Outdoor Hour Challenge

Signs of Winter Mammals

From the Archives and the Winter Wednesday ebook

I’m really looking forward to the nature challenge this week! I’ve spent a lot of time this winter following and photographing animal tracks in the mud and snow, and now I want to slow down and really try to identify who is making these tracks.

You’ll find a fantastic online resource in the archive link to a website to use along with your field guide. I would love to hear which animals you’ve found tracks for this winter.

Nature Book Club Mammals Feb 2018

I just posted a review and activity here on my blog to go along with the book Tracks, Scat, and Signs and I would love for you to read it. It’s part of the Nature Book Club link-up for February and if you click over to read that entry, you’ll find even more resources for studying small mammals from a fantastic group of bloggers from all over the world. Don’t miss the chance to receive a Kid’s Spring Ecojournal!

If you’re interested in seeing how our family completed this challenge way back in time, here’s a blog entry from the archives: Another Glorious Winter Walk Searching For Mammals.

Winter Mammal Notebook Page

If you have access to the Winter Wednesday ebook in the Ultimate Naturalist Library, there’s a custom notebook page available to use as a follow up to your nature study.

Readers Digest North American Wildlife book review @handbookofnaturestudy

Another resource that I love and use all the time is the North American Wildlife book from Reader’s Digest. I wrote a review of this book in 2015 that shows how beneficial it is as a supplement to the Handbook of Nature Study.


Winter Mammal Study – Tracks, Scat, and Signs

Tracks Scats and Signs Nature Book Club

It’s another month of nature book fun here on the Handbook of Nature Study. Last month we were learning about birds using the fantastic resource, Backyard Birds. This month I’m again joining with the same group of bloggers for another fun nature topic: small mammals!  We’ll all share a book and activities that go along with that theme.  You can use the links at the bottom of this post to see all of our books/activities.

Use the link tool below to share your own small mammal related links this month too!

Don’t miss the giveaway at the bottom of this post!


Nature Book Club Mammals Feb 2018

Tracks, Scats, and Signs: So many people have this book on their shelf but have never actually used it for their nature study.  (It’s part of the Fun With Nature Take Along Guide as well!) I’m hoping to help you use the fantastic information in this book to get outside and look for some signs of animals in your yard and neighborhood.  Look for the book at your local library!

(Note there are affiliate links in this post)

Simple Idea for Using Tracks, Scats and Signs for Your Nature Study

  • Read the book Tracks, Scats and Signs with your family before you go on a nature walk. Keep it light and enjoy the words and illustrations, noting any animals you may have in your local area. Each topic in this book shows an illustration of the tracks and the scat that each animal makes so you know what to look for during your outdoor time.  You will need to explain the word “scat” to younger children; expect giggles as they realize it’s just a fancy word for animal poop. Along with each selection, there’s a short description of where to look for each animal and a little bit about their behavior.


tracks in the snow


  • Take a nature walk looking for tracks, scat, and signs. We were always excited when we found animal tracks in the snow, mud, or ice!  Take photos of any animal tracks you find as you explore.  You may wish to bring along a ruler to measure the size of the animal tracks you find for future reference.  Take a few minutes to use your imagination about who made the tracks and what they were doing.
  • When you get back home, make a nature journal entry recording any observations you have from your nature walk. I have used the illustrations in the Tracks, Scats, and Signs book to help me draw the tracks and scat into my own nature journal.

elk scat

I’ve written a few Outdoor Hour Challenges that you could use along with the Tracks, Scats and Signs book.

  • Winter Mammal Tracks: Use the idea during the winter months to learn more about the animal tracks you observe during your outdoor time.
  • Signs of Mammals: We’ve found in our family that many times we don’t actually see small mammals but we observe signs of them during our outdoor time. This challenge helps you do some research about signs you find and then make a nature journal entry.

Tracks Mammal Activity

Look for these additional books at your library:  Track Finder by Dorcas Miller and   Whose Tracks are These? by Jim Nail.

Winter Nature Study ebook @handbookofnaturestudy

I’m hoping you will consider using my Winter Nature Study ebook with your family in the future. There are many more winter nature study ideas for you to include with your outdoor time each week during the cold winter months.

NOTE: There are ebooks for each season here on the Handbook of Nature Study. You can find a complete list of the ebooks in my library here: Join Us! Right now I’m offering a $5 discount for every level of membership. Use the discount code OHC10 at checkout.

Handbook of Nature Study Subscribe Now 2

Make sure to subscribe to my blog to follow along with those mammal-related nature study activities.


Link Up Guidelines

        • Choose an engagingnature book, do a craft or activity, and add your post to our monthly link up.
        • The link up party goes live at 9:00 a.m. EST on the 20th of each month and stays open until the last day of the month. Hurry to add your links!
        • You can link up to 3 posts. Please do not link up advertising posts, advertise other link up parties, your store, or non-related blog posts. They will be removed.
        • By linking up with us, you agree for us to share your images and give you credit of course if we feature posts.

      The Nature Book Club The Nature Book Club 2018 Topics  




  • See all the great posts from The Nature Book Club’s co-hosts in February:
























Outdoor Hour Challenge – Winter Bird Study 2018

First, a quick reminder that the Great Backyard Bird Count is February 16-19, 2018. This is a perfect way to learn more about your winter birds!



Outdoor Hour Challenge

Winter Bird Study 2018

From the Archives and the Winter Wednesday ebook

You can use the link above to look at the winter bird study activity in my archives.  Your family may be interested in learning more about feeding your own backyard birds in the winter. To help you do this, I put together a page that explains how to keep Birdfeeders in Winter.

Downy Woodpecker Bird Birdfeeder suet (3)

In winter, birds still need the basics: food, water and shelter.

Learning About Birds 3D cover

Plus you may be interested in taking a look at my Learning About Birds With the Outdoor Hour Challenge ebook for a more in-depth study of backyard birds. For the month of February, I’m offering a $5 off coupon for every level of membership here on the Handbook of Nature Study. This ebook is in both the Ultimate and Journey levels of membership. Take a look at all of the benefits of having a membership!

Discount Code: $5 off any membership on the Handbook of Nature Study by using the code FEB5 during the month of February 2018.


If you have access to the Winter Wednesday ebook in the Ultimate Naturalist Library, there is a custom notebook page available to use as a follow up to your nature study.

Winter Wednesday ebook NOtebook pages

Join us for the Winter Wednesday series of challenges here every FRIDAY. You can find them under the winter tab on the blog or if you have an Ultimate Naturalist Library membership, you can find the ebook there for downloading.
You may be interested in following my Bird Nature Study Pinterest board for lots of bird nature study ideas.