Your safety is important to us. If you leave your home to go out and make observations, be sure to follow local health department guidelines for safety during the pandemic. Get vaccinated, wear a mask, and do not go out in large groups. If local conditions or your personal circumstances prohibit you from safely going outside to make observations, you can still participate! Below we have a Scavenger Hunt for all the things you can try to find from home. Remember, you need to make at least two observations of organisms, so we hope that this list provides more than enough ideas for what you can find from inside!
Stay-at-Home Scavenger Hunt
Look inside your house for:
— an insect or spider. Bathrooms are great places to look. Also, try to think about places you might forget about when you clean like under the sink or up on the ceiling. Look in your light fixtures, too. Check out this awesome guide to indoor insects from the Never Home Alone project: Common Insects and Other Arthropods Found in Homes
— a mold on old bread or fruit (no judgement, it happens to us all)
— a pest (gnats, scales, etc.) on a house plant (Remember that house plants themselves–and also pets–are generally not appropriate to post on iNaturalist. If you do, you must mark them as captive/cultivated.)
Then, look out your window and find some of these:
— a bird flyover
— an animal noise to record (bird calls, squirrels, raccoons)
— a street tree
— an animal in a street tree
— a animal visitor to a nearby fire escape or roof
— something growing or living on your window sill
— an insect that visits your window at night (leave your light on and see what lands on your closed window)
— a visitor that comes to retrieve a nut or seeds that you leave outside on your window ledge. It should go without saying, but please don’t allow wildlife inside!
Thanks to iNaturalist users @srall, @javiehweg, and @aberkov for helping to brainstorm this list!