Ranger Rick, Ranger Rick Jr

Take a Wildlife Observation Hike

Get tips on seeing wildlife during your next outdoor adventure.

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Participant Age: 7 to 12, 12 and up
Approximate Cost: $0
Duration: 1 to 60 minutes, Over an hour
Difficulty:
Physical Challenge:
  • Camera (optional)
  • Clipboard (optional)
  • Pencil
  • Sit-upon - a waterproof pad or small stool
  • Wildlife-Observation-Hike-Checklist
Print out observation checklists.

Our wildlife observation checklist helps you focus your observational energy.

For a list of likely species for your state, visit Wildlife Watch and get a customized wildlife list.


Consider doing your hike early in the morning or at dusk.

Wildlife are most active at these times, and if you are quiet, you might catch them before they find their hiding places for the day.


Move slowly and quietly.
There are lots of creatures, large and tiny, which you might observe on your hike - but only if you are quiet and careful.
One of the best places to see wildlife are wetlands.

Acre for acre, wetlands have the most genetic diversity of any habitat in North America, so if you want to see a wide variety of wildlife, start at your local wetland.

Our Nature Find website can tell you how to locate the nearest parks.


Bring a camera if you can.
It's excited to capture images of wildlife - and you might even be able to enter your photos in our National Wildlife photo contest.
Observe plants on your wildlife observation hike also.
They are normally the easiest wildlife to photograph too!
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