Day 7: Bird watching and an animal riddle

Outdoor ideas and inspiration

We understand that this is a difficult time for many people, and we want to help. To that end, we will be posting daily outdoor ideas and inspiration (weekdays only). Being outdoors in nature is good for your health and emotional well-being!

For parents, we will frequently share simple activities to engage your children with the outdoors and keep them healthy and occupied. Check out other ideas on our engagement blog and on Facebook and Instagram.

For all ages, we will post reading material and inspiration to help you make healthful outdoor time and nature watching a part of your new normal. We also encourage you to check out our Harpswell Nature Watchers Facebook group and sign up for Harpswell Nature Watchers emails.

We would love to hear from you! Please share photos from your outdoor adventures and ideas and suggestions for others. Send photos and ideas to photos@hhltmaine.org and we’ll share some of them.

In this post you will find:

  • An animal riddle and link to a Nature Notes article
  • An outdoor activity for all ages: Bird watching (with resources)

Animal riddle

What is the only marsupial on our continent—a cousin of the kangaroo, koala and wombat in Australia? Marsupials have dual wombs and a special pouch called a marsupium for rearing their helpless young. This animal also has a long tail that comes in handy for balance and can be used for hanging from a limb. Click here for the answer and to read more about this interesting creature.

Outdoor activity for all ages: Watch the birds

The best time of the year for watching birds is coming up soon! Birding is a great way to spend time outdoors in your own backyard and neighborhood.

Luckily there’s a great smartphone app to help you learn your birds. Check out Merlin, which was created by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. You can go through the bird ID wizard or you can identify a bird from a photo. You can also listen to birds’ calls on the app, which is another great way to learn to identify birds.

Sometimes Harpswell Heritage Land Trust offers a Birding for Kids workshop. Maine Master Naturalist Priscilla Seimer created a bingo board and identification resource geared towards kids for that event, which you can download below.

Click here for the Birding for Kids activity and ID resources.

Even if you don’t have binoculars or don’t want to focus on bird identification, it can still be calming and fascinating to simply watch bird behavior. Do it outdoors and you also get the benefits of the fresh air, sunshine and exercise!

Birding for Kids 2019 (Curt Chipman photo)