Nature Journaling #198: Preparing for Winter Migration

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!

Two ducks fly through the woods in winter.

Today’s Prompt: Preparing for Winter Migration

Before you head out for a walk today, don’t forget to find out the temperature. Think about an animal that does not spend the winter here because of cold temperatures. Where do you think it goes? If it leaves our area, it migrates. Migration can be partial, meaning the animal might not move all that far away. Geese or ducks might head from a small frozen-over pond to the Ohio River that still has open water.

An animal might travel hundreds – if not thousands! – of miles to head to a warmer climate, meaning it is a long-distance migrator. If you were lucky enough to see a ruby-throated hummingbird in summer, they traveled thousands of miles to Central America to winter in the tropics! What kinds of things would an animal have to do to prepare for such a long journey?

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.