Brighten up your yard this winter with a bird feeder handmade by you and your child. Each family will receive a kit containing all the necessary parts to build a feeder that will attract chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, cardinals, and many other birds to your yard. A short slide presentation will highlight the birds that commonly come to feeders. We'll also observe the sanctuary feeders to see which birds are looking for food. Instructors will circulate to provide assistance.
The Geminid meteor shower is one of the most prolific of the annual meteor showers, rivaling in strength the better-known Perseid meteor shower of mid-August. This year, the Geminids reach maximum activity on the night of December 13, when as many as 120 shooting stars might be seen each hour under clear skies far removed from city lights and completely free of light pollution. We'll meet several days ahead of the peak activity to discuss the general nature of meteor showers, their origins, and the best ways to observe them. Weather permitting, we'll step outside afterward in an attempt to catch a glimpse of the Geminid shower in its early stages. There will also be viewing of the night sky through a large reflector telescope.
Come be a winter wildlife detective and learn the tracks and signs of local animals. During the introduction you will make your own wildlife tracks ID guide and get to look at and touch real wildlife clues. Then we will head out on the trails to follow tracks and signs left by wildlife such as deer, rabbits, coyotes, beavers, and more.
Using teamwork and problem solving, we will explore the woodlands of the sanctuary and imagine that we are explorers stranded in the wilderness. In order to survive, we will need to build shelters, collect firewood, and find food and a water source. We will end by roasting marshmallows over a fire and trying out some pine needle tea.
Before you settle in for the long winter ahead, bring your family to unplug, stretch your legs, and give thanks for the great outdoors and all its beauty. Journey back in time with a Mass Audubon naturalist as your guide as we look for signs from long ago of the people and wildlife who once lived here, and some who still do. You will have a chance to see and touch old tools and artifacts, learn the names and stories of the towering trees that reach overhead, and search for the wild creatures that rustle in the leaves around us in these special places. This hike is approximately 1.5 hours long, set at a leisurely pace, with stops to explore.
Brighten up your yard this winter with a bird feeder handmade by you and your child. Each family will receive a kit containing all the necessary parts to build a feeder that will attract chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, cardinals, and many other birds to your yard. Mass Audubon's Scott Santino from Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary will explain winter birds and then lead a workshop to build bird feeders.
Stretching high overhead at this time of the year once the sun has fully set and darkness has settled in, from vantage points far removed from light-polluted city skies, is the starry river we call the Milky Way. In the indoor portion of this evening's program, we will go on a photographic tour of the celestial jewels strewn within its starry fields that are best viewed through a telescope. Such so-called deep sky objects include star clusters, stellar nurseries, supernova remnants, and more. Presented by physicist Gary Meehan
The Ipswich River is the perfect place to start your children canoeing. We'll pair up two adults and two children per canoe and take a leisurely paddle up the river. We'll stop off in one of the backwater areas and do some dipping in the river to get a closer look at the creatures that live under the surface. On our return, we'll enjoy a snack at the picnic tables by the Nature Center and talk about what we discovered. Bring a blanket and we'll provide a sweet treat.
Backpack Babies is a program that encourages caregivers to explore the natural world with their babies and toddlers. Bring your backpack/frontpack or jogging stroller and explore the meadows, forests, and wetlands with your baby in this four-session series. Each class will begin indoors with a nature book and a few lap rhymes, songs, and games about the topic of the day. Then we'll go outside for a closer look at nature's gifts with our:
Explore the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary after hours and join us for a night of camping under the stars. Have an early dinner at home and then come with your family and your tent. We will explore nature through games and hands-on activities, set up our tents near the Barn before sundown, and tell stories after the sun sets. All campouts include an evening and a morning activity or hike and a light breakfast.