The world outside is white, and some animals have also changed color for the season.
The first Family Nature Night of 2020 will discuss these changes with its Winter Camouflage theme for the program 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24, at the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji.
Environmental education coordinator Bryanna Kuhlman said the program will begin with a talk about predator and prey dynamics, white animals like snowy owls and how some animals change color in the winter.
“Cardinals aren’t bright red, goldfinches aren’t bright yellow,” she said. “Some of our animals are fortunate enough to adapt to stay; some animals have to migrate.”
“It’s cool to see how animals change their colors,” said naturalist Ashley Hansen. “We as humans don’t change our colors.”
Participants will also learn about some animals that hibernate to get through the chilly winter.
“We don’t see animals much in the winter and although we don’t see them, they’re still around. They could be hiding; they could be hibernating,” Hansen said.
Families will then get to take part in a relay about which animals adapt, hibernate or migrate and will also get to make a snowy owl pinecone craft to take home.
Family Nature Night is a free program for all ages held the fourth Friday of each month and has been a popular addition to the nature center’s event line-up.
“I really like seeing some of our regulars and getting new families in and engaging with them,” Kuhlman said. “We get older kids too — third, fourth, fifth-graders — and a good balance of age groups.”
Each session has a different theme and offers activities that intrigue different ages. February’s program will celebrate Leap Day with Leap Into Nature, and the educators are excited for March’s Rock Kitchen theme.
“We have a lot of fun themes planned,” Hansen said.
Each Family Nature Night lasts approximately one hour and is limited to 60 participants, so please call 712-336-6352 to pre-register your family and reserve your spot.