Different kinds of wildlife are active at different times of the day. Part of being an excellent wildlife detective is just knowing when to look.

Let’s Get Started

You can spot different wildlife at different times of the day. Some creatures are diurnal, most active during the day, while others are nocturnal or mainly active at night. Other types of wildlife are crepuscular–most active at twilight. Twilight is at dawn just before the sun comes up, or at dusk, before the sun sets completely. 

Go outside and look for wildlife at different times to see who you can find. Here are some examples of animals you may find at different times of the day.

Nocturnal animals prefer the cover of night to avoid the heat of daylight and hunt at night. Finding these creatures can be a little more tricky since they don’t come out much until the sun has gone down and it’s harder to see them.

Crepuscular animals are active during twilight–dawn and dusk–and are called crepuscular. To catch these creatures in action you need to Be an Early Bird or a Nighthawk.

Diurnal animals are out and about when the sun is out.

Cathermal animals are active simply when they need to be. They sleep, hunt for food, and find water at all different times of the day.

Document Your Discoveries

Photo: Mirceax | White-tail Deer
  1. Go outside at dawn, daytime, dusk and night. Use your Nature Notebook to keep a list of the animals you find.
  2. Keep track of your wildlife observations for multiple days and compare the number and types of animals you find.

Bonus: Show us your best wildlife photos and drawings on social media by using the hashtag #GreenHour. Add a hashtag of crepuscular, diurnal, nocturnal, or cathemeral.


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