Welcome to Take It Outside! We’re continuing our Earth Day and birthday week with a celebration of our wild friends and neighbors — the animals you might see outside your home.
PEEC’s Field Science Specialist Mariana Rivera Freeman gives some tips for observing backyard wildlife. See her post here.
Even our critters are celebrating PEEC’s 20th birthday! The nature center’s resident animals are getting into the festive spirit by rocking some (virtual) birthday hats today.
Our ant colony will also be munching on a birthday cake throughout the day! You can check in on their progress via livestream throughout the day starting at 8 AM. Tune in here.
Your critters at home can join in too! Take a photo of your critter celebrating and post it on Instagram or Facebook with hashtag #PEECTurns20. If you’re not on social media, email your photos to email@example.com.
Invite birds and squirrels to your yard with a pinecone feeder. Have fun collecting pinecones, then coat them with peanut butter and sprinkle with bird seeds. Animals will love this tasty treat!
Don’t have pinecones where you live? Try using an old sunflower head from last year, or weave together some dried grass or plant stalks.
Outdoor Challenge (Beginner):
Can you find signs of wildlife near your house? Walk around your backyard or neighborhood and go on a wildlife scavenger hunt! Look for:
- Homes: burrows and nests
- Places where an animal has been digging
- Sounds of birds and other animals
- Smells: especially skunks!
Outdoor Challenge (Advanced):
Go outside and look for wildlife! How many of the following can you find?
- Insects and other small creatures
Try looking at different times throughout the day. Were different animals out in the morning versus later in the day? Share a photo of a creature you saw, or a picture from your wildlife camera if you have one!
- Check out the New Mexico Department of Game & Fish to learn more about our local wildlife, conservation programs, and educational materials. You can learn about their Share With Wildlife program here. Plus, be sure to take this survey on non-game species conservation!
- Want to see what wildlife is stopping by the nature center while we’re closed? Tune in to our wildlife camera anytime! To check out some of our most note-worthy visits, check out our wildlife camera highlights playlist on YouTube.
- PEEC volunteer Selvi Viswanathan has a wonderful wildlife habitat in her backyard. Her son and PEEC volunteer, Hari, uses a wildlife camera to capture some amazing photos of visiting wildlife. See some of the highlights he’s captured here.
Share Your Experience:
Tell us how you like to celebrate the Earth! We’d love to see your photos, too. Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or share them on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #peectakeitoutside.
Tomorrow we’ll discuss reducing your footprint on the Earth!