children

Reindeer

It’s the time of year we often think of reindeer, but how much do we really know about these animals?

Reindeer (their Latin name is Rangifer tarandus) live in areas far north. In North America they are called caribou. They are well adapted to living in cold, harsh climates having a thick coat which is woolly and warm underneath and with hairs above that trap a layer of insulating air. They have large flat hooves which are good for walking on snow, but equally good at walking on soft ground.

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Photo: Nathan Lemon at unsplash.com

Reindeer have big antlers which grow new each year. The males have the biggest antlers while the females have smaller simpler ones.

Reindeer like to stick together and so live in herds. They often migrate over large distances,  moving south as areas get colder during the winter; and North again when spring arrives.

For more information about reindeer check out:

WWF website

Arkive Arkive

National Geographic Kids

 

For crafts and pictures:

Here are some reindeer crafts

Reindeer colouring sheet or click here for a realistic picture to colour

Cool reindeer paper-chain

 

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and fun filled festive season

 

 

 

 

Garden Birds

Garden Birds is one of the best places to start learning about nature. Even if you aren’t lucky to have a garden perhaps you could visit your local park.

Let’s start with looking at our European Robin.

Robin

Robin

Robins often live in our gardens, but you’ll also find them living in hedgerows, woodlands and parks too.  They can be quite bold and cheeky birds and will often look for worms if you are digging soil in your garden. That is how I managed to get a photograph of this little fellow.

They don’t like the company of other robins in their home area and will often chase them away, unless of course it is the spring and they are looking for a mate. They like to nest close to the ground. Last year a pair created a wonderful nest in some tall grass next to our garden fence. After they’d left we had a look and the nest was tucked away inside what looked like a cave of grass. It’s important never to disturb robins while they are nesting and they will abandon the eggs.

robin nestbox

To attract robins in your garden you can provide them with a nest box. They like ones with an open front and it’s best placed among lots of vegetation like ivy or other climbers.

When the chicks hatch they are naked! But they soon get their feathers. They remain a speckled brown colour though and don’t get their red breast till late in the summer.

Robins like to eat worms and other insects, but will also take seeds and fruits. They cannot hang from bird feeders, so it’s a good idea to put some food on a bird table for them.

RESOURCES AND THINGS TO DO

Make you own bird nest box

Colour in a robin