Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary
Summer Watching List






 Download complete list here.


Assignment: Using this list as a guide, head outside and allow yourself to be open to whatever you come upon in nature—whatever you see or hear (or smell!) Take your time, pay attention, and see what you discover!


Record your impressions, thoughts, feelings and questions of a least five encounters with natural phenomena (whatever you find—they don’t have to be on this list) in whatever way you choose: journal, take pictures, sketch, record sounds, etc. We encourage you to use field guides to help you identify what you’re encountering and to give you additional information.


Bring your work to any NJ Audubon Nature store (and show it to a NJ Audubon naturalist if one is available) and we’ll give you a small magnifier (so you can get up close and personal with things you find outside) and a $10 gift card good at any of our nature stores (offer expires 9/21/11).


Good luck, and have fun this summer!




  1. Parent robins feeding their young fledglings


  1. A “thousand points of light” in a field, or your own yard, filled with lightning bugs (Different species flash different colors and different flash sequences—how many species can you find?)


  1. Monarch butterfly eggs or caterpillars on milkweed


  1. Can you name all the different trees in your backyard?


  1. Ruby-throated hummingbirds visiting red/orange tube flowers, or nectar feeders


  1. “Katy did! Katy didn’t!”


  1. Shooting stars of the Perseid meteor shower


  1. The bulging eyes of a Green Frog poking above the water in a pond


  1. How many different birds are coming to your feeder?


  1. Count all the bird songs you hear outside your bedroom window


  1.  Find a spider web glistening with morning dew—can you figure out what kind of spider it is?


  1. Indian pipes on a forest floor


  1. Chicory blooming along the roadside


  1. Which hits the forest floor first: acorns, black walnuts or hickory nuts?


  1. How many minutes after sunset does the first bat come out to hunt?


  1. Green frogs calling and laying eggs


  1. Sedum blooming on roof gardens


  1. Snapping turtles, wood ducks, or…? laying eggs


  1. How many different butterflies do you see on one field walk?


  1. Nesting orioles


  1. Daylilies in bloom


  1. Kingfishers, herons and egrets active in ditches since swamps are dry


  1. Goldenrod in bloom


  1. Find one thing in your yard or a nearby forest that you’re completely unfamiliar with—what is it? Write about it, take pictures or draw a sketch. Later, do some detective work with a field guide, or speaking with (another) naturalist, or the internet. So…what are your conclusions?


  1. What do you see/hear/smell that’s not on this list?


Prefer to just chill out by sitting under a tree reading a good book?

Click here for a list of great nature storybooks selected by a NJ Audubon naturalist.