All animals need the same basic needs met to survive- food, water, shelter, and space, but what we might not realize is how many animals are finding ways to meet these needs in our backyards and neighborhoods. In this activity, we invite you to be a backyard detective and discover who is living in your yard or neighborhood. All you need is a notebook and pencil for recording observations and a camera to take photos, if you would like. If you have them, a magnifying glass or binoculars might also be useful.
To begin your search, think about where animals might find food, water, or shelter. Plants often provide many of these things, so a good place to start might be in a garden or around some trees. Look for clues that animals leave behind. Do you see tracks? Food left behind? While you are observing pay attention to details, and write or sketch what you see in your notebook.
If you want to learn more about how to make your backyard an even better home for wildlife, check out these resources from the National Wildlife Federation: https://www.nwf.org/Garden- for-Wildlife/About/Resources
Suggested Activity: Be a backyard detective!