mystery The answer to the clues may be found at the bottom of this column.    Teachers and Parents: Enter to win an entire set of Dawn’s nature books of one title for your home or classroom. It's fun and easy!
Just read the clues below. They describe an aspect of nature—a plant, animal, mineral, habitat, or natural process.
When you're ready to make your guess about who or what I am, click ENTER NOW.
Who Am I?
spacerglass1 Clue 1:  I'm a member of the "dog family."
glass1 Clue 2:  I live throughout North America in deserts, prairies, forests, and even in towns and cities.
glass1 Clue 3:  You might hear me howling at night to communicate with my pack.
glass1 Clue 4:  Don't let me trick you—I am NOT a wolf.
Do you think you know who I am? ENTER NOW.
Entries should be submitted no later than noon on Friday.
If you guessed correctly, you’re automatically entered into the monthly drawing for a set of nature books from Dawn Publications.
A contest winner will be announced at the end of September.
Throughout the school year, clues for a new Who Am I are posted no later than Sunday night, so you can use them with your class on Monday morning.Good luck!
The answer to last week's mystery was: SEASHELLS Although Inside Outside Nature blog is changing it's focus, this weekly "Who Am I?" will remain the same! Teachers, click here to get ideas about how to use the contest with your students.  

Counting Down to the Count

It’s free, fun, and easy—and it helps the birds! What is it? The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC).

NAS_GBBC_Posters_2014_r5_360pxThe GBBC starts in just two weeks! Everyone can participate—from beginning bird watchers to experts. It takes as little as 15 minutes on one day, between February 14th-17th. Involve your students in counting birds on your school grounds.

Why Count Birds? Scientists can learn a lot by knowing where the birds are. Bird populations are dynamic; they are constantly in flux. No single scientist or team of scientists could hope to document and understand the complex distribution and movements of so many species in such a short time.

People who care about birds can change the world. — Gary Langham, Audubon chief scientist.

Find out how to participate at the GBBC website. You’ll also find lots of suggestions and tips for counting birds with children.

INSIDE: Audubon Adventures

hummingbirds_cover_shot_2Get ready for the Count by introducing your students to birds. A great resource is Audubon Adventures. They’re high-quality magazines filled with vibrant photos and lively illustrations. A subscription consists of class sets (32 of each) of 4 separate magazines especially for grades 3-5.

The magazines capture students’ interest and are correlated to Common Core Standards. Each magazine comes with a stand-alone Teacher Guide, which includes lesson plans, vocabulary words, and review questions and activities.

OUTSIDE: The Top Ten List

image_previewStop, look, and listen and the chances are you will see one of the “ten most reported birds” from previous GBBC’s—Northern Cardinal, Mourning Dove, Dark-eyed Junco, Blue Jay, American Goldfinch, American Crow, Downy Woodpecker, House Finch, Black-capped Chickadee, and Tufted Titmouse.

Get your kids involved in birding with the following resources just for Educators:

MORE FACTS AND FUN WITH BIRDS

BLUE1_StoreWant to inspire youngsters to appreciate birds? The BLUES books are the ticket. As one major reviewer said, it’s “a lighthearted romp with solid information on birds and bird-watching that could inspire future ornithologists.”