Winter Wednesday- Mammals and Hibernation

Winter Wednesday
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.

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Ultimate Ebook Library @handbookofnaturestudy


  1. Barb,

    Regarding animal tracks…I thought this link might be handy for people. It is a pocket guide to animal tracks that you can print off, cut out and laminate and keep it with you in your field pack. What I like about it is that it has a ruler along one edge so you can measure the tracks you find.

    The guide is for Massachusetts wildlife, but many of the animals are found elsewhere.


  2. Barb
    While we have not been participating I thought my latest post fit this category to a T. We followed deer tracks from our back yard and found a wonderful surprise!

  3. The entire “Discover Nature in Winter” series of challenges has been wonderful. So much so that I’ve requested “Discover Nature in the Garden” from the library to follow along as we get our garden in. Thanks so much for all your hard work and your willingness to share this for free. I get so much excellent help for homeschooling from both your blogs! This week and last week two subjects–art and nature study–were totally done by you!!! Thank you!!

  4. Sarah,
    Thanks for the link…great idea!

    Thanks for sharing your link with the tracks….great nature study and afternoon.

    I have both Discover Nature in The Garden and Discover Nature Close to Home and they are both excellent. Great ideas to get you started. This is what I would hope with happen with these books….try one and then you can go it on your own with another one.

    Thanks for all the comments.
    Barb-Harmony Art Mom

  5. This went great with an animal habitat class I’m teaching at our local homeschool co-op. It has already been an amazing experience as many of the children have never done nature study! (1st & 2nd graders.) I have given your blog link to them all and I’m just so thrilled at what I’m seeing in these kids already! :) My own children have been doing nature study for a couple of years now but to see the delight and eagerness in these young faces has been wonderful! Thanks!

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