Animal tracks and traces

We were so lucky to have fantastic weather both the day before, and the day of our Animal Tracks and Traces field trip.It had snowed the night before, and we were treated to some animal tracks in the snow. But before we got started, we played a little game called “Hawks and Birds,” to get us thinking like animals. Amy Marsters, a DNR Wildlife Technician, and our guest field trip leader, also helped prepare us by showing us the feet of some common Nova Scotians animals. She passed around feet from a bobcat and a beaver, and a toe from a moose! She also had a cast of a lynx footprint.

Then into the woods we went, where we found tracks right away.¬†We used our identification sheets that Amy had just given us, and some tips she gave us to figure out which animals had left the footprints we saw. Human and dog footprints were what we saw a lot of at first, but later we found squirrel tracks. Amy also pointed out that you can tell wildlife has visited an area from other traces too, like the holes that woodpeckers leave behind in bark (which we found lots of). We also chanced upon a stick with a fluff on it. Amy explained that the fluff was some down from a bird, and got us to test its insulating abilities in the palms of our hands. Just before turning back, we found a great poop (or should I say “scat”)! It was from a fox, because it was full of fur, and smaller than what it would be for a coyote. Also, the habitat made sense for a fox. It is so neat to think about all the animals that visits the same spots that we do, only when we are not there!

Make sure to check out the photo gallery from our trip, for photos of feet and scat and more…