Science and Observations in Your Own Back Yard 

At Reid Park Zoo, we value conservation efforts to protect wild animals and wild places but in order to be able to help them, we need to understand them and the habitats they live in.  We work closely with scientists and researchers around the world who are studying these animals and where they live.  

However, scientific study is not limited to researchers who can travel the globe. All you need in order to do research is a glimmer of curiosity and a desire to learn more about the world around you.

Margaret Morse Nice studied song sparrows in her backyard in the early 1900s and her research taught us more than we ever knew about these birds. You too can conduct natural research from your window or back yard. All scientific research starts with observations and asking questions. Take some time to look around outside and focus on the natural world around you.

What do you notice? What questions do you have? Write down your observations and do a little background research online. You can write notes in a notebook, organized scraps of paper, or on your laptop or smartphone. You can make your observations alone or with members of your family.

Spend 15 minutes each day looking out your window or sitting outside and record what you see. If you make observations at the same time each day, you soon may find patterns that you want to learn more about! We would love to hear about what you observed. Share something interesting that you learned with us.