Signs of Spring: Observations for April

Today's Reminder Includes:

  • How the Season is Changing >>

  • Outdoor Observations for April: Tune Your Ears! >>

  • What's Happening to the Sunlight? >>
  • Resources to Explore >>

What clues can you find?
Photo: Ann Cook

How the Season is Changing

Students in New Jersey exchanged signs of spring with these students in Turkey! What did they discover? Explore >>
Photo: Duygu Ergen
"I saw the first measuring worm today," reports a 2nd grader in New Jersey. "He inched up my sleeve!" Cardinals singing mating songs, ice melting, and spiders dangling: These are just a few of the sightings reported by sharp-eyed observers this month. Look at these amazing new signs of spring photos.
  • A fish-eating bird (osprey) >>
  • A special sign of spring from across the globe in Turkey >>
Some of the most exciting spring signs are ones you don't even see! Explore more in Outdoor Observations for April (below). Then go outside and perk up your ears!
Outdoor Observations for April: Tune Your Ears!
This noisy spring peeper is barely as long as a paper clip!
"We heard the first swamp music," writes one Journey North observer. A concert? No, she was describing the sound of thousands of tiny spring peepers!

What have you heard this spring? When you make your April observations and write in
your Signs of Spring journal, handout, or checklist (see resources, below), try to be spring sound sleuths!
  • Sounds of Spring: Go outside with a journal or notebook. Find a spot to sit still for 5 or 10 minutes. Close your eyes and open your ears. What sounds do you notice? Next, write a description of each sound and what you think caused it. (A buzzing bee? Scurrying squirrel? Squishing mud? Dripping water?) Which of these are mainly spring sounds? Explain why you chose those.

  • Animal Sound Tracker: Track down three wild sounds until you find the animals making them. (No fair tracking dogs or cats!) Observe the animals for as long as you can. In your journal, describe the sounds as well as you can. Also record what you see the animals doing while they're making the sounds. Try to record the date, time, weather conditions, location, and habitat for each sighting.
What's Happening to the Sunlight?

Are you tracking sunrise and sunset times, daylength, or shadows in your hometown? What have you noticed? These things continue to change very quickly! How do they affect the progress of spring?

Imagine you're in space looking at Earth on the morning of April 1. >>

How is sunlight changing? >>
Resources to Explore
  • Student Journal: Signs of Spring >>
  • Handout: Watching the Seasons Change (gr. K-3) >>
  • Checklist: Signs of Spring (gr. 4+) >>
  • Report your spring observations! Choose the sighting or event that best fits! >>
  • View Maps: Spring Events and Favorite Signs of Spring
  • Handout: Signs of Spring: Clues About Seasonal Change >>
  • Share: Exchange Observations with a Partner! >>
  • Sound Clips: Red-winged Blackbird Vocalizations >>
  • Teachers: About Signs of the Seasons >>

What does spring "look" like in other places?
Go to any spring event map or the Signs of Spring map. Click on a dot to read an observer's report. Or, see a list of all of current Signs of Spring reports.
Signs of Spring for May: A reminder will be posted on
May 1, 2009