Learning About Nocturnal Animals

A few weeks ago we attended a local nature storytime about owls and other nocturnal animals. They read Little Owl’s Night. As a special treat, they had a conservation educator bring in a hawk and a horned owl for a live presentation! Obviously, the hawk isn’t a nocturnal animal, but it was a great way to compare features between nocturnal and diurnal birds. Both birds were gorgeous, and it was so cool to be so close to them; a much more personal experience than the aviary or the zoo. At the end, we went outside to see the hawk fly.

Bubo the Horned Owl

Bubo the Horned Owl

flying hawk

flying hawk

We’ve studied Barn Owls last spring (reading books, dissecting owl pellets, and watching Barn Owl web cams) so the girls were already familiar with owls and nocturnal behavior. But we wanted to learn more about nocturnal animals. We got some great books from the library to read, including: Creatures of the Night, While the World is Sleeping, Where are the Night Animals?, and Whoo Goes There?.

books nocturnal animals

We made a T chart of nocturnal and diurnal animals (and one that is both, elephants!) and we made a collage of nocturnal animals. We put both of these projects in our new Animal Binder (so we can look back on things we’ve studied). We discussed advantages and adaptations for night-living (following this guide) and added the information to our Animal Binder as well.

above, Nocturnal Collage; below, Diurnal/Nocturnal T Chart

C colored some pictures of nocturnal animals while M worked on a word search puzzle that I made from an online puzzle generator. Online, we watched some BBC Nature clips, a video slideshow, and a puppet music video and played a few online games, finding hidden nocturnal animals and identifying animal sounds. One night before bedtime, we turned off the lights in the living room and played hide and seek in the dark, experiencing what it might be like to be an owl hunting a mouse and a mouse trying to hide. This was super fun, and no one made any major bumps.

As usual, there is always so much information available, so we still have plenty more to explore and learn about in the future. The girls were especially excited about owls again, so we have ordered some more owl pellets to dissect and have started watching the Barn Owl web cams again. I think we will always be checking in on those Barn Owls in Jan/Feb (when they lay eggs).  Hooray for web cams and YouTube videos!

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