Early Spring Outdoor Investigation Mystery

"If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?" ~ Albert Einstein

It was a beautiful day in early spring. I was enjoying the emerging bright green leaves and blossoms.
I noticed some damage on my bird feeder. As I walked around the house, I found more damage! A
hummingbird feeder lay broken on the ground. All the liquid was gone. Another hummingbird feeder
still hung on its hook, across the yard.
Two bales of straw were broken apart and thrown around the grass near the pear tree.

I recalled that the night before I had heard a rubbing and bumping noise outside. It sounded like something
was moving our recycling cans. But when I turned on the back light and looked out the window, nothing was there. Hmm?

Hone your observation and reasoning skills by carefully examining the scenes using the photos.
Offer a solution to the mystery about what happened in our yard last night.
Hint: When you click on a photo, a larger view will open. Use your Back button to return to this page.

Write your observations. Solve the mystery.
What do you believe has happened?

2. bluebird house

5. bear scat
Fresh Scat

6. straw bales

I noticed that two bales of straw were ripped open
and strewn across the yard.

7. veg garden

I saw these tracks crossing the newly dug potato patch.

Suggest a solution. What should I do?


Observation Skills Builders: The First Step in the Scientific Method > 40 activities.

Learn about the Scientific Method Activity Winter Mystery Challenge
Meadows, Fencerows and Fields EcoStudy Unit Bluebirds Project - learning focused exploration
Wetlands EcoStudy Unit Plants and People
Frank and John Craighead Craighead Environmental Research Institute

ivy rule

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Posted 4/2009 Cynthia O'Hora.

Aligned with Pennsylvania Academic Standards | Assessment and Rubrics