Meet the dancing Red Fox! Aullwood Audubon’s catchy music videos celebrate nature

Learning about animals and nature has never been so much toe-tapping fun.

A weekly music video created by Chris Rowlands, a professional musician and the outreach environmental educator at the Aullwood Audubon, is a much-watch event.

Chris’s Critters: Songs at Aullwood Audubon, posts each Tuesday at 3 p.m. on the center’s Facebook page.

The videos combine catchy tunes, farm animals and the occasional wacky costume to teach viewers of all ages about the natural world.

Rowlands plays the banjo and dances in a prairie wearing a fox costume for a memorable song about the red fox. The lyrics describe the animal’s white-tipped tail and cat-like eyes that help it see at night.

“I hope people learn about the animals and the environment,” Rowlands said. “I hope they get excited about nature.”

Rowlands wife, Angela, came up with idea for the videos soon after the pandemic shut down. She filmed the first episode — a song about skunks — with her phone in their back yard.

Since then the videos have been recorded at picturesque locations around the Aullwood Audubon center and farm.

In one of Rowlands' favorite episodes, a friendly bovine named LaRue licks his face as he sings about cow digestion. “She’s as close as you could get to a golden retriever being a cow,” he said.

Chris's Critters: Songs at Aullwood Audubon, July 14, 2020

Join Outreach Naturalist Chris Rowlands for a truly moo-ving episode of "Chris's Critters: Songs at Aullwood Audubon" featuring a special farm friend! Sing along with Chris while you learn a little about cows and how they eat and digest. Tune in for new episodes of the show every Tuesday at 3 PM Eastern Time!

Posted by Aullwood Audubon on Tuesday, July 14, 2020

A song about the underappreciated Virginia opossum explains how its prehensile tail helps it climb and that it has 50 teeth, more than any North American land mammal.

Rowlands has been Aullwood’s outreach environmental educator for 16 years. He has recorded five CDs of original music for children and teaches music residencies at Aullwood and across the country to help kids create their own music, songs and art.

Growing up listening to singers John Denver and James Taylor has influenced his music and can be heard in songs about conservation, the damselfly and Martha, the last known living passenger pigeon.

Chris's Critters: Songs at Aullwood Audubon, Damselfly, August 4, 2020

Spend a quiet moment by the water with Outreach Naturalist Chris Rowlands and hear a song about the damselfly. Listen and learn with new episodes of "Chris's Critters: Songs at Aullwood Audubon" every Tuesday at 3 PM Eastern Time!

Posted by Aullwood Audubon on Tuesday, August 4, 2020

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