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Stories

Outdoors just for kids: Chipping sparrow males are true wingmen

Outdoors just for kids: Chipping sparrow males are true wingmen

Nations form alliances to protect each other from attack. People also do this, especially males, to defend each other. That’s where the phrase “I’ve got your back” comes from, meaning one person will watch out for the other, most often in difficult situations.

March 13, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Even big elephants need a hug

Even big elephants need a hug

It’s always nice to have someone comfort you when you get hurt, are scared or are feeling bad. Parents, friends, brothers and sisters can be good at making you feel safer and better.

March 06, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Outdoors just for kids: Ants go floating one by one hurrah, hurrah

Outdoors just for kids: Ants go floating one by one hurrah, hurrah

When the weather is warm, I like to go rafting down rivers. My raft is made out of vinyl and has to be pumped full of air to float.

February 27, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Outdoors just for kids: A fishy trip to the ocean

Outdoors just for kids: A fishy trip to the ocean

Did you know that when young salmon swim downstream to enter the ocean, they travel backwards – tail first, 20 to 60 miles a day? That’s just one of the unusual things about migrating salmon that scientists have learned as they’ve researched the fish in the Columbia River.

February 20, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Outdoors just for kids: Coywolf has adapted to urban East

Outdoors just for kids: Coywolf has adapted to urban East

I watched a very interesting television show the other night about the coywolf – the offspring of a coyote and wolf that interbred.

February 13, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Outdoors just for kids: Some animals are built for cold winters

Outdoors just for kids: Some animals are built for cold winters

How can geese or ducks stand or sit for hours on an ice shelf next to a river’s open water? Of course they carry a nice, plump down coat, but what about their exposed feet?

February 06, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Outdoors just for kids: Calling a bat without a bat signal

Outdoors just for kids: Calling a bat without a bat signal

In the cartoon Batman, police commissioner Gordon sends for the caped crusader by shining a bat symbol into the dark night sky. In real life, a South American frog can unknowingly call real bats at night by simply making ripples in the water.

January 30, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Outdoors just for kids: Ancient sharks did opposite of salmon

Outdoors just for kids: Ancient sharks did opposite of salmon

Salmon are an amazing fish. They are born in freshwater rivers and streams. But when they get older they swim downstream and into the salty ocean’s waters where they grow up. They then return to where they were born to lay eggs and start the cycle all over again.

January 23, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Outdoors just for kids: When bad breath is a good thing

Outdoors just for kids: When bad breath is a good thing

My dog has really bad breath. When she comes and pants next to me, it’s very stinky. Sometimes I get up and move so I don’t have to smell it.

January 16, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Outdoors just for kids: The wonders of frozen water

Outdoors just for kids: The wonders of frozen water

One of the neat things about winter is that when it’s cold the water on lakes, ponds and in the calm stretches of creeks and rivers freezes. Standing next to a frozen lake or pond, you can sometimes hear weird sounds like whale talk – that’s the ice contracting and expanding.

January 09, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Outdoors just for kids: Mushrooms make a mighty wind

Outdoors just for kids: Mushrooms make a mighty wind

There’s an old song that has a verse that goes: “the answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind.”

January 02, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Outdoors just for kids: Reindeer, caribou have a lot in common

Outdoors just for kids: Reindeer, caribou have a lot in common

Did you find any reindeer and sleigh tracks on your roof or in your yard on Christmas Day?

December 26, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Outdoors just for kids: Turning colors can stop a lizard fight

Outdoors just for kids: Turning colors can stop a lizard fight

Have you ever had your face turn red when you were embarrassed or angry?

December 19, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Outdoors just for kids: Why owls can fly so quietly

Outdoors just for kids: Why owls can fly so quietly

Owls are amazing predators. The mostly flat-faced birds typically hunt at night. Female owls tend to be larger than males. The great gray owl, one of 12 species of owls found in the West, is the biggest. It can range from 24 to 33 inches in height – that’s a pretty big bird.

December 12, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Outdoors just for kids: Using a caterpillar to forecast the winter

Outdoors just for kids: Using a caterpillar to forecast the winter

It’s December, brrrr. And if you believe the weather forecasters, it’s only going to get colder and snowier this winter. That’s great news if you like to ski, snowboard or snowmobile.

December 05, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Outdoors just for kids: How to wow your Thanksgiving dinner guests

Outdoors just for kids: How to wow your Thanksgiving dinner guests

Happy Thanksgiving! I can’t believe it is turkey day already again.

November 28, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Outdoors just for kids: Animals, bugs use camouflage to hide from predators

Outdoors just for kids: Animals, bugs use camouflage to hide from predators

The whitetail deer ran from a clump of aspen trees as I rounded the corner of the road. I knew it was a whitetail because as they run, they stick their big white tail straight up into the air.

November 21, 2013 1:44 pmLoading…
Outdoors just for kids: Blue perch isn’t sad, it has a defect

Outdoors just for kids: Blue perch isn’t sad, it has a defect

One fish, two fish. Yellow fish, blue fish.

November 14, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Outdoors just for kids: A whale of a story from ear wax

Outdoors just for kids: A whale of a story from ear wax

When you were little, did your mother used to clean your ears out with a washcloth?

November 07, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Outdoors just for kids: Halloween facts to haunt your family

Outdoors just for kids: Halloween facts to haunt your family

Happy Halloween! I hope you have a great costume picked out for trick or treating tonight. I saw some funny outdoor-themed costumes, including two parents dressed up as smores (the delicious graham cracker, marshmallow and chocolate treat) and their child dressed up as a puffy marshmallow. I…

October 31, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Outdoors just for kids: It isn’t Jack Frost nipping at your nose

Outdoors just for kids: It isn’t Jack Frost nipping at your nose

The other morning when I left home to run an errand, there was a white coating of frost spread across the grass. It also coated my truck’s windshield. And wouldn’t you know that my windshield scraper wasn’t in my truck. Hmm, I wonder where I put that darned thing.

October 24, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Outdoors just for kids: Why fall leaves are different colors

Outdoors just for kids: Why fall leaves are different colors

There is a brilliant red maple tree in downtown Billings that is hard not to stare at as I drive down the street. The deep red color is such a contrast to the usual yellow or orange leaves we see around Montana in the fall.

October 17, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Outdoors just for kids: A fun word to describe animal behavior

Outdoors just for kids: A fun word to describe animal behavior

Here is a great word for you. It is long, but it sounds really cool and describes a unique behavior. The word is crepuscular. (Pronounced cray-pus-cue-lar.)

October 10, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Outdoors just for kids: Male orangutans call out their travel plans

Outdoors just for kids: Male orangutans call out their travel plans

Do you ever call your friends and tell them where you are going when you’re planning to go on a camping or fishing trip?

October 03, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Outdoors just for kids: Cicadas make lots of noise on summer days

Outdoors just for kids: Cicadas make lots of noise on summer days

I don’t get very many requests for Just for Kids articles. In fact, I don’t think I’ve had any until recently. After writing about the noise crickets make and a way to figure out the temperature by counting a cricket’s chirps, a reader asked if crickets were the bugs making all of the noise …

September 26, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

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