Thursday, September 30, 2010
365 Days With Kiddos - #9 - Observe Animals in Your Neighborhood
We live in a tourist mecca in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, that also happens to be a national park. In Banff National Park we are surrounded by natural beauty, which includes wildlife. According to Parks Canada there are 53 species of mammals in our backyard. My kids regularily see elk, deer, bighorn sheep, and occassionally fox and coyotes. Usually, the bears stay in the woods but sometimes they cross main street. Yet as often as they see these amazing animals, they are just as happy to see squirrels and birds. We have a squirrel who "lives" part time in our fenced in backyard. He runs along the fence, darts in and out of deck furniture, and steals bits of the old push mop my husband left propped against the outer wall of our house long ago. My kids delight in seeing him! Quin calles him "my friend, Squirrly". They also like to watch the birds, like the magpies that land on the neighboring roofs and in our trees, especially now that the Mountain Ash in our front yard has berries. Whether you live in a city, a rural area, on an island, or in the desert, there is some kind of wild animal that you and your child can observe in it natural habitat. Take a look around and start to notice what kinds of animals you see. Google your area or check your library for local guides. If you want to attract birds to your yard, hang a bird feeder. There are many wonderful DIY bird feeder projects online. I have been wanting to make some but here in Banff we are not allowed to have bird feeders. We can have bird houses (I will have a share a bird house project soon). If you don't have a backyard, go to the park. That is where I shot the above video of my children, earlier this week, watching a squirrel putting away food for the winter. Watching animals will lead to questions from your kids that you may not always be able to answer but the great part about that is that together you can research to find out more.