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Spot the Species

Animal Crackers

July 26, 2017
By Sharon Knoblich , OVParent

Nearly 500 species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians make their homes in the Ohio Valley. In addition, we see numerous fish and insects. Some wild-animal habits make them hard to spot. Have fun this summer trying to see many different species or some of your favorites. Download a list of local animals from your state's Division of Natural Resources website.

We know NOCTURNAL animals thrive at night. Consider the night sounds. The insect chirps, the hooting from the trees, and the croaks from the ponds help us identify some nocturnal animals. The only flying mammal swoops through the dark skies catching insects.

Animals that are primarily active during the day are DIURNAL. They often depend on sight to locate their food. Bees travel to flowers collecting nectar. Hawks can spot prey from high in the sky. Foraging on the ground and in the trees, chipmunks and squirrels scurry around while there is plenty of light.

Article Photos

A few species prefer the safety of dawn and dusk. Photographers often catch chimney swifts flying through the beautiful sunrises and sunsets of the Ohio Valley. Herds of deer graze in the mornings and evenings. These species are considered CREPUSCULAR.

So, enjoy the abundance of wildlife in the Ohio Valley. Visit water sources and choose the right hours of the day or night. Photograph them, sketch them or check them off your list as you admire their unique survival habits.

And in the meantime, try the activity to discover one more diurnal animal.


1. Use the clues from the paragraphs above to decide the preferred time of day for the animals listed at right. Are they nocturnal, diurnal or crepuscular?

2. Look at the letter beside the animal's name in the list and color the blocks in the grid above with that letter using the following color code:

Nocturnal: Black

Diurnal: Orange

Crepuscular: Blue

Deer - D

Frog - F

Cricket - C

Squirrel - S

Chimney swift - X

Bat- -B

Hawk - H

Chipmunk - Z

Bee - Y

Owl - O

For example: A squirrel is diurnal, so use orange to color all the boxes that have an S.

The puzzle is at right. Click on it and print it out. The colored-in grid (answer) can be found here:



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