In this video, and others in this series, Volunteer Naturalist, Cele Beckner shared fun facts, stories, and poems about the Bernheim mammals she most loves to talk about. Several of these mammals, such as opossums, skunks, and coyotes, are generally nocturnal and not likely seen while visiting Bernheim. However, with careful observation you may locate signs of the presence of these mammals. Look for animal tracks near muddy areas around the Olmsted Ponds, Lake Nevin, and other muddy areas.
Scat (animal feces) is another common sign of the presence of these mammals. Coyote (and other mammals) can differ in appearance depending on their seasonal diet. However coyote scat usually has a lot of hair and bone fragments in it. This time of year, raccoon and skunk scat often contain persimmon seeds.
Questions to Ponder at Bernheim
So where are these mammals during the day? Have you ever wondered what adaptations nocturnal mammals have to help them see at night?
At Home Activities
See if you find evidence of these mammals in your own backyard or neighborhood. Be sure to look for scat, tracks, animal paths, and possible den sites for nocturnal mammals. Remember some signs can be smelled or heard, as well as seen, so don’t forget to use your other senses.
Perhaps Cele’s poems can inspire you to write your own mammal poem. A simple and fun poem form is the acrostic. When writing an acrostic, you take the first letter in the title or subject and use it as the first word or phrase to begin each line of the poem.
Here’s an example: Title Deer
Doe at the edge of the woods
Eyes wide as always
Raisers her white flag then leaps into the dark deep woods.
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