Bringing Nature to You

by | Apr 15, 2020 | Parks Department, Programs & Education

We are building a library of online programs and Bringing Nature to You! Explore the different habitats in Michigan from the comfort of your own home. Each habitat and topic will include informational videos and fun activities for people of all ages including read alouds, programs, and scavenger hunts. We’ll continue to develop and add content, so please bookmark this page!

Looking for more nature videos? Check out our Backyard Birding videos.

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Virtual Bird Walk

Join Ottawa County Parks Naturalist, Curtis Dykstra, as he goes birding on April 15, 2020 at Upper Macatawa Natural Area in Zeeland, Michigan. Explore the variety of habitats and the birds they contain at this favorite birding location. In particular, the marshes abound with waterfowl and other wetland birds. Come along to see what birds turn up!

 

All About Woodpeckers

You might wonder why woodpeckers pound their beaks on trees and how they do it. You’ll discover why in this program and also learn about West Michigan’s 7 woodpecker species.

What’s that Bird I Hear?  Backyards, Neighborhoods & Urban Parks

Have you ever wondered what birds you’re hearing in your yard or local park?  This video is a virtual guide to help you learn 10 common bird songs of backyards, neighborhoods & urban parks.  Each bird includes a song and a description of what you’re hearing.  Enjoy and watch for more in this series in the near future!  For more on birds, their songs and how to identify them click here for a free online bird guide.

Virtual Bird Walk

Join Ottawa County Parks Naturalist, Curtis Dykstra, as he goes birding on April 1, 2020 at Bend Area Open Space in Jenison, Michigan. Tune in to relax while you watch and listen to several “soundscapes” at this lesser-visited property along the Grand River Greenway. How many bird songs can you pick out or identify? A list of the birds heard in the video will be given at the end. Want to learn more about which birds the sounds you’re hearing belong to? Click here for a free online bird guide.

A special thank you to Kestrel Imagery who created this video (as a volunteer!) for us to share with you.

Frog Calls of Ottawa County, Michigan

Learn more about which species of frog live in Michigan and sing in the spring! This video will help you identify species by sound. Here are some additional resources:

  1. The Frogs and Toads of North America, book & CD by Lang Elliot
  2. Michigan DNR – Frogs & Toads
  3. Michigan Frog Calls

Virtual Wood Frog Walk

Now that you can identify a wood frog song in the wild, join Parks Naturalist, Curtis Dykstra on a virtual walk to wood frog habitat!

Virtual Bird Walk

Join Ottawa County Parks Naturalist (and resident bird nerd), Curtis Dykstra, as he goes birding on March 26, 2020 at Maplewood Park in Georgetown Township, Michigan. Maplewood Park is not managed by Ottawa County Parks. However, since it’s close to home and a hotspot for migratory waterfowl in spring, a visit here seemed fitting. In the near future we’ll be visiting some Ottawa County Parks as well!

A special thank you to Kestrel Imagery who created this video (as a volunteer!) for us to share with you.

All About Woodcocks

Michigan’s end-of-winter thaws invites an enigmatic bird of our wet forested thickets and meadows to migrate back to our region, the American woodcocks. Tune into the second of our Bringing Nature to You series to enter the world of this unique master of camouflage and songster of the night sky. You’ll find out about where you can find a woodcock in the wild at the end of the video. There are a few videos referenced in this program, find them here:

Virtual Woodcock Walk

Now that you’ve watched the All About Woodcocks program, join Parks Naturalist (and resident bird nerd), Curtis Dykstra on a virtual walk to explore local Woodcock habitat and see if you can catch a glimpse of one in the wild.

Lessons Learned from Five Seasons as a National Park Ranger

In this program, Ottawa County Parks Naturalist and National Park Service Ranger, Kelly Morrissey, shares lessons learned from five seasons as a Park Ranger.

Wildlife Encounters: The Wood Frog

Amphibians of the odd and unusual sort are not reserved for just the tropics. In fact, the end of winter in nearby woodlands and wetlands reveals one of the most bewildering of all: the Wood Frog. Watch the video to learn how this “frogcicle” survives winter and comes back to life in the spring!

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