A muntjac in the receding water

Five minutes in nature: A daily, identical photo

Assistant Director Jack Ashby writes: Like many people, since March 2020 I’ve been spending a lot of time in whatever countryside I can find near my home. When the UK government specified in those initial, strict covid lockdown guidelines that we were permitted just one hour of exercise outdoors a day, something psychological was triggered in me that made me eager to make sure I … Continue reading Five minutes in nature: A daily, identical photo

Starling on a branch

Five Minutes in Nature: Starlings

Winter is a tough time of year, with its short days, long nights, and often overcast skies. But there is still wildlife to be enjoyed, and spending time in nature has been shown to improve wellbeing. With these posts, the team at the Museum of Zoology are sharing how they like to spend five minutes in nature and get reacquainted with the wildlife on their … Continue reading Five Minutes in Nature: Starlings

Owl pellet dissected to show the bones and fur of its prey

Owl Pellets

Museum Volunteer Ian Harvey writes: We’re all familiar with owls and for many people, they’re their favourite animal. And we know owls from literature; the owl and the pussycat, owl in Winnie the Pooh and the owls in the Harry Potter books. Owls are birds of prey or raptors meaning they feed on other animals. They have certain features making them great hunters; excellent eyesight … Continue reading Owl Pellets

Herbie the Hedgehog’s winter hidey hole

Matt Lowe, Collections Manager at the Museum of Zoology, writes: A couple of months ago my wife and I were tidying up the pots of herbs we keep next to kitchen door when we heard a shuffling noise and what sounded awfully like snoring. That was when I realised I had succeeded in giving an overwintering hedgehog a home. In 2019, not long after we … Continue reading Herbie the Hedgehog’s winter hidey hole

Startling murmuration in the sky at sunset

12 Days of Winter Wildlife: 12 Days of Critters

Throughout this week we have been sharing some amazing winter wildlife with you, and today we have joined this all up as our 12 Days of Critters. Why not download the song sheet and sing along with your new festive favourite: Find out about the 12 critters, and scroll down to learn how to make your own origami starling murmuration to decorate your home. Winter … Continue reading 12 Days of Winter Wildlife: 12 Days of Critters

Close up photograph of snowflakes

12 Days of Winter Wildlife: Surprising Winter Animals

Think of an animal of winter and what comes to mind? A robin? A swan? A snow flea? Yes, you read that right, a snow flea. This is just one of the more surprising winter animals you can find out about today on day eleven of our 12 days of winter wildlife. Scroll down for more surprising winter wildlife, and a surprise snowflake craft – … Continue reading 12 Days of Winter Wildlife: Surprising Winter Animals

Bird footprints in thin snow

12 Days of Winter Wildlife: Traces of Winter Wildlife

You may not always see the animals that visit your garden or green space, but they can leave behind evidence that they have been there. Today, on day ten of our 12 days of winter wildlife, we will be exploring the telltale traces of winter wildlife. Make a Wildlife Film Why not try capturing the wildlife in your garden by making a wildlife film? If … Continue reading 12 Days of Winter Wildlife: Traces of Winter Wildlife

Group of mallards and swans

12 Days of Winter Wildlife: Winter Water

Go to the river over the winter months and you will see swans, ducks, geese and more. For day nine of our 12 days of winter wildlife, we are celebrating all things water and waterfowl. Winter Wildlife: Water Birds Academic in the Department of Zoology, and one of our visitor engagement volunteers in the Museum, Dr Tony Fulford writes: Bodies of fresh water such as … Continue reading 12 Days of Winter Wildlife: Winter Water

Photograph of long grasses at dusk

12 Days of Winter Wildlife: Healthy Habitats

For day eight of our 12 days of winter wildlife, we are exploring healthy habitats. Cambridge University Botanic Garden works hard to be a wildlife haven in central Cambridge. Follow our virtual tour of some of the winter wildlife it supports: In today’s blogpost we will be uncovering some of the unsung heroes that keep our habitats healthy. Winter Wildlife: Earthworms Join Dr Ed Turner … Continue reading 12 Days of Winter Wildlife: Healthy Habitats

Waxwing perched with berries

12 Days of Winter Wildlife: Winter Visitors

You may think it gets pretty chilly here in the UK over winter, but for some animals it is a refuge from the more extreme cold further north. For day seven of our 12 days of winter wildlife, we will be exploring these winter visitors. Go on a virtual tour of the Museum’s British Bird displays and see some of the species that visit our … Continue reading 12 Days of Winter Wildlife: Winter Visitors

Photograph of a pair of foxes looking toward the viewer

12 Days of Winter Wildlife: Winter Mammals

For day six of our 12 Days of Winter Wildlife we are celebrating the world of winter mammals, particularly focusing on those that might be out and about during the colder months of the year. One mammal that is doing pretty well in towns and cities as well as the countryside in the UK is the red fox. We are lucky enough to have a … Continue reading 12 Days of Winter Wildlife: Winter Mammals

Ladybirds in the crevices of a branch

12 Days of Winter Wildlife: Hibernation

Here we are on day five, and if you feel like sleeping through the winter months, you are not the only ones. Many animals lower their activity or even fully hibernate over winter. You may know of hedgehogs, dormice and bats doing this, but did you know that there are insects that hibernate too? You can help hibernating wildlife through the winter. Follow the Butterfly … Continue reading 12 Days of Winter Wildlife: Hibernation

Woodlouse on wood chippings

12 Days of Winter Wildlife: Life Underground

Above the ground you may be seeing bare branches and fewer flowers, but beneath the ground there is still a lot of activity, particularly in compost heaps. This is the theme for day four of our 12 Days of Winter Wildlife. Here are top tips for creating a compost heap, and how to search for the animals living there, with Dr Ed Turner, Curator of … Continue reading 12 Days of Winter Wildlife: Life Underground

Winter moth on pine tree bark

12 Days of Winter Wildlife: Active Insects

It’s day three of our 12 Days of Winter Wildlife and we are exploring insects that are active in the cold weather, and in particular, winter moths. These are amazing animals, but how do we study moths? Join moth expert Annette Shelford as she shows us why moths are important and how to monitor them with this film from our Zoology Live festival that took … Continue reading 12 Days of Winter Wildlife: Active Insects

Photograph of a robin in a yew tree

12 Days of Winter Wildlife: Garden Birds

For day two of our 12 Days of Winter Wildlife, we are celebrating our feathered friends. Winter can be tough for birds. As the temperature drops, they need more energy to keep warm. But once the bounty of berries and seeds of the autumn is over, food can be in short supply. Provide birds with food in your garden or outdoor space and you can … Continue reading 12 Days of Winter Wildlife: Garden Birds