Sunday, June 6, 2010

Watching Wildlife Brownie Try It

We didn't spend a large amount of time on this, because we observe nature all the time.  Both at our house and the state park programs.

The requirements for this badge can be found here.

Animal Architects

We discussed what animals make their homes out of.  We routinely take nature walks around our property and the state park and observe bird nests, rabbit holes, and other natural animal habitats.

To find out what kind of building materials small critters and birds in your area like, set out the following outside on a tray:
  • Hairballs from a hairbrush
  • Lint from pockets or clothes dryer
  • Pieces of paper
  • Pieces of yarn.  We cut various sizes and colors to see if there was a color preference.
  • A cotton ball.  We stretched it out.
  • Small twigs.

Animal Talk.  How do animals communicate?  What does it mean when a dog wags their tail or growls, when a cat hisses, or a skunk raises it's tail? 

We had fun discussing these and practiced some "animal actions and noises."

A New Wardrobe.  How do some animals change their "clothes" for the season.  Can they put on a coat?  No, they get more fur in the winter and shed it in the warmer months. 

Earthworm Observation.  We brought several worms in from outside.  We watched them move, found the earthworm's head, touched the top and bottom sides of the worm.  We also held a flashlight at the head end of the earthworm.  It did not change it's movement, so we do not think an earthworm is able to see. 

* A good movie to go with this might be How to Eat Fried Worms.

Ant Adventure.  We observed ants (using a magnifying glass) in a large ant hill in our yard.  We put some bread crumbs and a smashed pop-tart to see what the ants preferred to eat.  Unfortunately, the dogs got to it before the ants, so I guess we'll never know their taste preference.

*Some other fun resources for ants are at DLTK, also we plan on watching The Ant Bully.

Animal Menus.  Animals can't run to the grocery store to get food.  They can't just store things in cupboards and refrigerators, either. 

We talked about the following wild animals and what they eat:  Squirrels, birds, caterpillars, worms, rabbits, spiders, ants, deer, raccoon, butterflies, fish, turtles, and garter snakes.

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