Nature Journaling #183: Looking for Cardinals

Nature journals are a fun way to pass the time. To many Great Parks nature interpreters, they are a tool that fosters meaningful connections with the natural world.

Want to create a nature journal with your child? Grab some paper and a pencil, step out the front door and use the prompt below. We’ll publish a new prompt daily, so be sure to check back here for more!

A male northern cardinal sits on a tree branch and poofs out his feathers to keep warm during winter.
Male northern cardinals are a bright red all over.
A female northern cardinal sits in a tree branch during a winter morning.
Female norther cardinals are mainly brown with some red feathers.

Today’s Prompt: Looking for Cardinals

Take a walk today and look for red birds, specifically cardinals. If you get to see a bright red cardinal, you are seeing the male. The female is mostly brown, but does have some red on her, especially on her wings. Take a look at their beaks. What kinds of foods do you think they eat and how do their beaks help them eat that?

A Few Tips for Success:

  • Work with your child’s attention span. If they aren’t enjoying an activity, allow them to choose a new one. If they are highly focused, give them plenty of time to continue the observations.
  • Allow creativity. Children often have interests that go beyond the questions we pose. Create a safe environment so they can create and explore on their terms.
  • Journal along with your child. You never know what you may discover and it’s a great way to spend some quality time together.
  • Try activities at different times of day. Observations may change with time and temperature.

Want to try your hand at different nature journaling topics? Click here for more prompts.

Amy Roell
Director of Education & Events