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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tracking Snow

Had a couple of inches fall last night which is a good amount for following animal tracks. The possible presence of a coyote which I mentioned recently got me interested in learning to identify animals by their tracks, and it's a good learning activity to go along with walking in the woods.

The close similarities among the canine tracks makes it unlikely I'll learn to distinguish coyote from foxes or either from domestic dogs. It's rare around here to see a dog without his owner nearby so when I spot a canine track with no human tracks around I can be fairly certain it's something other than a domestic dog. I followed such tracks for a while today, and there were enough tracks where the claws were clearly visible to rule out it was any sort of feline. It could be a coyote, but I'm leaning more towards a large fox.

Although a large fox makes a larger track than a smaller fox, when you are comparing size tracks among different species things are different. A rabbit's tracks, for example, can be larger than a deer's.

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