Child looking at nature in magnifying pot

Animals are all around us, though we often can’t see them. They may be hiding, be nocturnal or simply blend in with their camouflage colours. We can use our super detective skills to discover which animals have been in the area. Look for spider webs, nests, eggs, nibbled seeds, footprints, poo, hair or feathers.

What to bring

Bring a torch and a magnifying glass if you have them

  • Choose a small area to investigate, such as a single tree
  • Turn over the leaves, look in the cracks in the bark, turn over the sticks and stones below the tree, look up into the canopy or look in the soil under the tree. Can you find any signs that an animal has been there? Listen, can you hear any animals nearby?
  • Can you see any living animals too? You might find birds, squirrels, worms, larvae, spiders or woodlice all hiding in the area!
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Have a go at minibeast hunting and make a list of all the bugs you find!

Did you know

Animals often leave a ‘scent mark’ to tell other animals that they have been in the area. They might rub their bodies on a tree or spray their scent onto a clump or plants. Wee and poo can also be used to leave a smell message. Most of the time we can’t smell these smells. Occasionally we can smell when foxes have been in the area as they have a very strong pong!