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Pre-visit activities:

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Oak Woodland Wildlife Coloring Pages!

We have coloring pages for different animals that all call the oak woodland their home! 

Pick the ones you will have fun coloring in, and click on them to download and print them.

Nature Picture Frames!  

Go outside and collect a handful of sticks the size of a piece of a paper. You can also look for dried leaves or flowers. A special helper might join you!

Use yarn to wrap the sticks and leaves together to make a rectangle.

Now you can display your coloring pages and other works of art in a Nature Picture Frame!

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Virtual Nature Hike

Join Terwilliger Nature Guides as they explore Miwok Meadows in China Camp State Park. Come along as they spot a Coyote, Black-tailed Mule Deer, Wild Turkeys, Western Gray Squirrel, Western Fence Lizards, and a Black-tailed Jackrabbit!

Nature Guides share how to spot animal signs such as scat, spider turrets, oak galls, and nests, and explain how these animals make their living in the oak woodland and grassland habitats.

What can you learn by looking at animal scat? Why do fence lizards do push ups? What do Dusky-footed Woodrats store in their huge stick nests? Learn the answers to these questions and so much more!

Then, invite your family out for a hike in your favorite park! Can you find any of the plants and animals you learned about from the virtual hike? You can use a field guide to identify plants and animals, and write your observations down in your science notebook or nature journal! 

Video is 20 minutes long.

Extra resources for teachers: 

Our Volunteer Nature Guides have compiled extra resources with information about the plant and animal communities in the oak woodland. 

Click here to open and download the teacher resource guide.

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Neighborhood Food Web

Click here to open and print this activity!

A habitat is where an animal lives in nature. From the ocean coast to the desert, there are many different types of habitats in California! Animals live in habitats that have food, water, shelter, and enough space for them.

Plants and animals living in a habitat are connected to each other in a food web.

In this example food web, animals are connected to what they eat, and what eats them in their oak woodland habitat: 

Have you seen any wildlife in your neighborhood? Many wild animals make their home in the urban habitat, which means they live where people live!

Draw your home in the circle below to create your own Neighborhood Food Web!

Then draw lines to connect each animal to all of the different types of food it eats.

Can you find any animals below that eat mostly plants?
Which animals eat mostly other animals?
Which animals eat both plants and other animals?

Click here to open and print this activity!

Answers are included below. Try to think of the possible food web connections before peeking at the answers!

Bird Break!

Have you ever seen a bird wiggle its whole body and fluff up its feathers to get warm? 

Let's take a break to be like a bird! 

Go outside, and wiggle your whole body! 

Wiggle your fingers, wiggle your toes, wiggle your arms, wiggle your legs, wiggle your torso, and fluff up your feathers!

Click here to view the answers. Try to think of the possible food web connections before peeking at the answers!

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Secret Code Wildlife Puzzles

Click here to view the answers. Try to solve the puzzles on your own before peeking at the answers!

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Acorn Treasure Hunt

There are many different types of oak trees that are native to California, and they can be identified by the shapes of their leaves and acorns. Acorns have long been an essential food source for people and animals alike! 

Lots of different kinds of animals store their food away somewhere hidden so that they can eat it later, kind of like how people keep food in their kitchen cabinets or pantry when they come back from grocery shopping.

Some animals store their food all in one spot, like beavers and hamsters.

Other animals store their food in hundreds of small holes scattered in the ground or in trees, like squirrels and Acorn Woodpeckers.

Some animals, like chickadees, have a really good memory of where they stored their food. Other animals, like squirrels, forget about some of the hiding spots, and sometimes those forgotten buried seeds and nuts sprout and grow into trees.

Now, let's find out what it's like to be a squirrel looking for where we buried our acorns!

For this Acorn Treasure Hunt, you will need:

✅  One object the size of your hand (toy, ball, card, etc.),

✅  One partner or more,

✅  Optional: Wear a costume. 🐿

  • One person is the "Hider" and the other person is the "Seeker." The Seeker covers their eyes and counts to 30, while the Hider goes and hides the object (the "acorn"!) somewhere in the house or yard.

  • They must hide the acorn in plain sight so that the Seeker doesn't have to open any drawers, lift up any covers, or move any objects to find it. 

  • The Hider can give the Seeker treasure hunt clues, like "I have four legs, but I don't have feet. I come in handy when it's time to eat" (it's near a table!). 

  • When the Seeker finally finds the hidden acorn, it's time to switch roles, and the original Seeker takes a turn at hiding the acorn!

That's the end of our pre-visit activities!

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Post-visit activities:

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Vocabulary Puzzles

Click here to view the answers. Try to solve the puzzles on your own before peeking at the answers!

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Nocturnal, Diurnal, and Crepuscular

Depending on what time it is, you might see very different animals out in the oak woodland.

Nocturnal animals are more active at night.

Diurnal animals are more active during the day.

Crepuscular animals are active at dusk when the sun sets, and at dawn when the sun rises.

Take a guess at when these animals are awake!

Write or draw which animals are nocturnal, diurnal, or crepuscular in the circles below.

Click here to open and print this activity!

Click here to open and print this activity!

Click here to view the answers.Try your best to sort the animals on your own before peeking at the answers!

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Practice Your Observation Skills

With This Animal Tracking Activity!

Photo by Kaija Ollikainen

When we go outside and practice noticing what's around us, we start to be more aware of all the incredible things happening in nature. 

Tracking is a way to piece together a story of what kinds of animals live nearby, and what their daily lives are like. 

Identifying animal tracks and recognizing their signs adds another layer to our understanding of and connection with a place.

Practice your observation and nature awareness skills by trying these tips and tricks to animal tracking! 

You can see, hear, or find evidence of animals almost anywhere you go outside, whether you're in a backyard, or a park, or on a neighborhood walk, or just looking out a window!

Try these awareness activities each time you go outside
, and you will start to recognize the signs of wildlife in your neighborhood. Then you can try to identify them and learn more about them. 

  • What do you hear? Sometimes animals are easier to hear than to see, so let's practice noticing their sounds. Go outside, close your eyes, and listen for bird songs. With your eyes still closed, point to where you hear a bird singing, or leaves rustling, or sticks snapping, etc. (animals make lots of sounds!). Then open your eyes and look for what made that sound!

  • What evidence did the animal leave behind? Look for evidence of wildlife, such as bird droppings (which look kind of like white paint splatter), feathers, fur, nests and dens, cracked seeds, chewed leaves, or tracks (animal footprints).

  • When was the animal there? Are the droppings fresh, or are they dried out? Are the tracks in dried mud, or did the animal walk there more recently? Where could the animal be now?

  • What was the animal doing? When you see evidence of an animal, try to imagine that animal's behavior. Cracked nuts and seeds might mean an animal was eating there. An area of flattened grass might mean a large animal was resting or lying down there. A lot of feathers or fur in one place might mean an animal was eaten by another animal. Do the animal tracks show you which direction it walked in? When you find evidence of an animal, take a moment to record your notes by writing or drawing in your nature journal, or tell someone with you what you observed.

Practice identifying animals and their tracks by solving the mysteries below!

Mystery #1: Whose feet are whose?

The animal feet below belong to patients who stayed WildCare's Wildlife hospital before being released back into the wild. Can you identify each animal based on their feet? The answers are at the very bottom!

The options to choose from are:

River Otter,
Western Grey Squirrel,
Alligator Lizard,
Desert Tortoise,
Rock Pigeon,
American Coot,
Virginia Opossum

Mystery #2: What happened here?

Finding animal tracks in the mud, sand, and soil is always exciting, because it means wildlife was walking exactly where you are walking! Examining animal tracks give us a chance to learn more about wildlife and what kind of activities they do while we aren't looking.

Examine the animal tracks in the picture above.

Now look at all the animal tracks in the snow in the winter scene below and come up with a story about what each animal was doing. 

  • What direction was each animal going in?
  • What was each animal doing?
  • Did any animals interact with each other?

One version of the story is shared in the answers section at the very bottom!

Click here to view the answers.Try to solve the mysteries on your own before peeking at the answers!

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Birds and Windows 

Help wild birds around your home stay safe with this easy Nature Super Hero activity! 

Simply create hawk-shaped cut-outs to display in windows that will discourage birds from flying into them and causing injury.

Why do birds fly into windows? When birds are looking at the window, they see the reflection of the sky or trees instead of a pane of glass. They think they're following a clear flight path. That mistake can be deadly; at least half of the birds who hit windows die from injuries or because another animal preyed upon them while the bird was stunned.

Here's what you will need for this activity:

✅  Click here to open and print the hawk shape,

✅  Scissors,

✅  Tape,

✅  Markers.

  • Carefully cut out the hawk shape.

  • Decorate the white side of your hawk cut-out however you like, by drawing, coloring, or collaging on it. 

  • Tape the hawk to the inside of your window so that the black side of the cut-out faces outside, and the decorated side faces inside.

  • Adding multiple bird shapes to your window with at least 4 inches of space between them is more effective at preventing birds from accidentally flying into it. You can even make a whole habitat scene on your window! 

Have fun making your windows safe for birds!

Click here to open and print the hawk shape

The wild Turkey in this video flew right through a glass window! Fortunately his injuries were mostly superficial, so WildCare's Medical Staff was able to release him back to his home territory after only one night in care. Watch as he returns to the wild!

Video clip is 40 seconds long.

That's the end of our post-visit activities! 

We hope you had fun!

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You can open and print the Ways to be a Wildlife Hero idea bubbles that appear throughout this page by clicking below!

English version

Spanish version

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