Meadow habitats are teeming with life! They aren’t just where you find grasses, but wildflowers, birds, snakes, and mammals too! Below you’ll find a list of meadow resources including: videos, crafts, and articles. Let these resources guide you the next time you go exploring in our meadow habitats!

Table of Contents

Use the links below to help navigate to the information you are looking for:

Videos:  What’s that Bird I Hear – Meadows (Part 1 and 2)

Have you ever wondered what birds you’re hearing when you wander the through meadow habitat?  These videos are a virtual guide, each one helping you learn 12 common bird songs of our Meadows; including Open Fields and Farm Pastures and Edges & Thickets.  Each bird includes a song and a description of what you’re hearing.  In the future, watch for corresponding Habitat Soundscapes videos to help you practice what you’ve learned!  For more on birds, their songs and how to identify them click here for a free online bird guide.  We hope you enjoy learning while you listen!

Meadows:  Open Fields and Farm Pastures

Meadows:  Edges and Thickets


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. Watch the video below 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: Foraging, Peenting, Displaying

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.

mi EcoBUZZ Videos

Check out these great videos below from one of our partners: mi EcoBUZZ! In addition to videos on meadow resources there are great videos on other nature topics as well!

Nature Story Time! Week 1 – ‘On Meadowview Street’

S2E10: Seed Scattering Strategies!

Have you ever wondered how seeds travel from one place to another?


 Additional Resources

Wildflower Garden Mega Time Lapse – 9 full months

Nine months and 148,000 plus photos compressed into a spectacular time lapse showing a wildflower garden from early Spring to Winter.

60-Second Snakes: The Eastern Hognose Snake

The Michigan DNR’s 60-Second Snakes video series talks about identification tips and information about Michigan’s snake species. This episode features the eastern hognose snake. Learn more about the hog-nosed snake:

Splendor in Michigan Grasslands

Make sure to check out this short video developed by the Michigan Wildlife Council describing some of the work the Michigan DNR and Michigan Pheasants Forever are doing to conserve and protect Michigan’s meadows.


What is “phenology” you ask? In this video, Nina Leopold Bradley, daughter of Aldo Leopold, recounts how she learned as a child to record first flower blooms and the arrival of birds on her family’s land along the Wisconsin River. She introduces the practice of phenology, or the study of the timing of life cycles of plants and animals, and explores evidence of climate change from records her family has kept since 1935.

Prescribed Fire

What is prescribed burning and how is it used to manage meadow ecosystems? Midwestern ecosystems evolved with fire, so many of the native plants and animals in this area rely on intermittent burning to survive. Prescribed fire is used by land managers in ecosystem restorations to remove invasive plant species and rejuvenate the prairie. Check out the videos below!

Prairie Fire: Managing Prairie Habitat with Prescribed Burning

This one comes from Oklahoma, and while the plants are different, the idea is the same.

Prescribed Burn at Shaw Nature Reserve

Fire on the Prairie

What is it like to be part of a burn crew?

Season of Grass: The Prairie Rejuvenated after a Prescribed Burn

Dig Deeper!

This article on “The Wonder of Grasslands” from Michigan’s DNR outlines the important benefits and resources grassland habitats provide and introduces the Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative (also called Michigan Pheasants Forever) working on grassland restoration.  

The Michigan Wildlife Council also provides an insightful article about successful conservation and restoration of oak openings and grasslands in Michigan

BioKIDS introduces different types of natural and man-made grasslands you can find in Michigan. Additionally, use the website to learn about native and non-native critters or explore with useful field guides (Track & Sign, Invertebrate ID, Michigan Habitat, Conservation Status, and BioKIDS Animal Set). 

eek! Wisconsin has a great feature on just what exactly a prairie is, and the different types of prairies that you can find.

Creature Feature!

Karner Blue Butterflies were listed as federally endangered in 1992 due to losses in the eastern portions of their range. They are protected throughout their range, and many sites are actively managed. Karner Blues are listed as threatened in the state of Michigan. The have a special relationship with Wild Blue Lupine, the only plant they lay their eggs on. Check out their life cycle here!

Dig a little deeper!

Ready to dig deeper? The Michigan Natural Features Inventory has some great informational pages on a variety of habitats found here in Michigan.

Check out this meadow habitat page: Dry Mesic Prairie

Looking to add some history to the mix?

The History of Prairies article by the Michigan Wildlife Conservancy at the Bengel Wildlife Center provides a brief history of prairies in the US and describes restoration efforts in Michigan. 

Looking for something longer to read?

Check out Restoration in the Barrens. This free e-book tells the story of a young teen’s struggle to rebuild his life while rebuilding a local prairie.

Get Creative!

Rainy day at home? Can’t get outside to explore? Try these crafty activities to help you learn more about meadow habitats.

Karner Blue Butterfly Coloring Page

Green Leaf Butterfly Craft

Grow Seedlings in Egg Cartons:
The small egg carton cups are the perfect size for smaller seedlings. This post has a bunch of other ideas for frugal seed-starting systems, too.

Toilet Paper Roll Butterfly


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