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Backyard Animal Challenge

Backyard Animal Challenge


People who live in rural regions obviously have an enormous advantage in opportunities to observe and enjoy nature. For a start, they may be able to view the night sky much better than their friends in the city whose view of the stars is dimmed by city lights. Secondly of course there are the animals who make a point of visiting the property. There may be waterfowl in the spring, ducks and geese at least, who come to refresh themselves on your pond. And how about the frogs who deafen the night with their cheerful choruses.There will certainly be birds and four-footed creatures, large and small. All these observations are a wonderful opportunity to observe who comes to your property, when they come, and what they do while there. Each creature is beautifully designed to live in your region and successfully produce offspring to continue the wildlife presence there. Maybe you can observe some features of each creature which make it successful.

As to city slickers, all is not lost for these people either. Many wild creatures make their way to even the most urban of properties. Squirrels for example cannot fail to attract attention. They are so brash, and so frisky! Some small birds stay all winter. In our area these include delightful chickadees, downy woodpeckers who are convinced that our oak tree is full of bugs, house finches, sparrows, nuthatches, blue jays and the ever-exotic looking magpies. At our property in the city, we regularly see a coyote, and jackrabbits. The highlight of our fall was when two adult moose visited our backyard!

So why not challenge yourself to make lists of your wildlife observations, specifically when and where you see them. Soon you may be inspired to further research. One young lady in grade four, counted sparrows at a bird feeder four times a day, every day in February. She found that the birds came in much higher numbers at the end of the day rather than in the morning.  Cold temperatures seemed to have less effect than time of day. Isn’t that interesting? You too can find new information when you make regular observations and keep good records. Lastly you can reflect on why all these creatures are so well designed for their lifestyle. Think about Job 12: 7-9 and consider what kind of insights these verses shed on your observations and conclusions.

April 2018

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