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Becoming A Winter Nature Detective

Although wintery forests and woodland can seem quiet, in fact lots of animal activity will be going on all around you.

Wild creatures can be hard to spot, most are very shy, and many only come out at night. However, if you look closely you might see feed signs, tracks or droppings left behind.

So why not try this winter to become a nature detective, and spot the clues the animals have left behind!

Information and Activities

Tracking

Winter is great for animal tracking-with lots of juicy soft mud and sometimes snow just waiting for a furry or feathered foot to step in it!

So eyes down and see who’s put their foot in it!

Here are some guides to get you started:

Mammal Tracking
Animal Tracking: prints and poo identification for kids (Woodland Trust)

Can you identify badger tracks?

Tracks in the snow

Why not make your own animal tracker and detect who’s been passing through your garden!

See RSPB's Make An Animal Tracker.

Ready to get detecting? How many of these footprints can you find? (Woodland Trust)

Poodunnit!

Animal droppings, or scat give brilliant clues about who has ‘been’ there! To work out poodunnit, notice the size, shape and colour of the scat , and break it apart with a stick to see what the animal has been eating. Clues could be fur, tiny bones, berries and seeds.

Fun Activity: Try the RSPB's Whose Poo? game to see how good you are at recognising poo! It is great fun!

Here are some guides to common mammal droppings, and what to look (or smell).

Okay let’s play the RSPB's RSPB Whose Poo? with this quiz-sorry about the sound effects!

Jock o' Bennachie

Jock Says: Never touch animal poo as it contains bacteria which could make you ill - always wash your hands after you have been out nature detecting

RSPB Whose Poo?
Jock o' Bennachie

Jock's Winter Jokes

Is it quicker to be hot or cold?

Hot, because you can catch cold!


Also See

All About Winter

All About Winter

Jock o' Bennachie has lots to tell you about what’s going on in winter! Come and find out when Winter begins and just what is the Winter Solstice! What about the changes you might find on Bennachie in Winter?
Bennachie's Winter Wildlife

Bennachie's Winter Wildlife

Learn more about the Winter Wildlife on Bennachie and the surrounding areas, and how to spot it.
Becoming a Nature Detective

Becoming a Nature Detective

Wild creatures can be hard to spot, most are very shy, and many only come out at night. However, if you look closely you might see feed signs, tracks or droppings left behind.
Aberdeen Mountain Rescue Team

Aberdeen Mountain Rescue Team

Many people are surprised to discover that there is a Mountain Rescue Team based in Aberdeen.
Winter Activities

Winter Activities

Jock o' Bennachie has loads of fun winter activities for you to enjoy so start exploring!

Also see our Autumn Programme 2020 and Summer Programme 2020 information, and don't forget to enter our Competition.

If you have enjoyed these activities please share them with your friends and family.