Tracking in the Snow

Posted: Jan. 19, 2015

It was 10 degrees when we set out for the Midwinter Bird Survey on Saturday morning. Yes, 10. And that was before we factored in the wind chill. The wind was blowing in gusts up to 20 miles per hour. Needless to say, with those temps, at that early part of the day, we were the first people on the trail.

But there’s the kicker. The trail was already filled with tracks.

The light snowfall left us with a perfect pad on which to make prints. The bridges across the wetter areas of the trails proved to be the perfect scouting grounds. Lots had been going on, especially among the squirrel crowd. But two sets of prints caught our eyes.



First, it was obvious a fox or coyote had walked across Sylvester Bridge. We’re erring on the side of the smaller critter, based on the size of the tracks. We also found that the tracks had somewhat faded, making it a little bit tough for a positive ID.


Second, and a little more exciting, we found fisher tracks on our second bridge!  Fishers run, almost all the time they are searching for food, and have a habit of dropping their second print into their first, making it look like they have a double paw print. There have been reports of fishers across the street at Jacobs Pond, but this was the first such confirmation of their presence on our grounds.

So, yes, 10 degrees. But worth it, at least for a few minutes.