Bear Hunt

I found several of these caterpillars in the garden this weekend.  They are Woolly Bear caterpillars. This fellow was placed on the leaf.

For the  Kids

The woolly bear caterpillar isn’t really a bear at all.  This little guy is as tame as a teddy bear.  Capture it for the winter and watch it spin its cocoon in the spring.  Finally your “bear” will turn into a “tiger”-an Isabella Tiger Moth.

How to Capture a Bear

  1. Find a brown and black banded woolly bear caterpillar in October (check the lawn, garden, or even the road)
  2. Put it in a clear plastic jar with a lid (be sure to punch holes in the lid)
  3. Add a twig in the jar and include some fresh grass for your bear to eat. Note:  Put fresh grass in everyday. Soon your bear will tire of perching on the twig and will go to sleep on the bottom.
  4. Remove any remaining grass but leave the twig in the jar all winter long.
  5. Find a place outside that is protected from bad weather (a covered porch is nice) and you will be able to watch it hibernate.
  6. In the spring, when weeds start to turn green it is time to feed your bear.  Feed it fresh grass every day.  Soon it will spin its magic cocoon of silk.
  7. In about a week it will become the Isabella Tiger moth.  On a nice day, take the jar outside and set your “tiger” free.

Information for this project was taken from “Fun With Nature” Northword Press, Minnetonka, MN  Caterpillars, Bugs and Butterflies by Mel Boring

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