Following Mammal Tracks in the Snow
This time of the year I find my blogging opportunities are a bit more limited than during the summer months and I am looking down more than up into the tree tops! This weekend with the fresh snow on the ground, I never anticipate the many opportunities to find some exciting animal prints!
Mouse prints were most everywhere and although the lighting was hard to capture . . . . they were much more beautiful that I was able to capture for you. What species are these prints? . . . I am sorry but I can’t remember which mouse drags its tail like this (help if you know)! My assumption is that it needs to be a White-footed Mouse or the Deer Mouse (but my money is on the White-footed Mouse).
On occasion you will find me following tracks for no apparent reason and this was a day that I was happy to do so. I located a predator who picked up a mouse scent and then turned back the other direction to the location where the mouse was going in-and-out of its hole. The predator appeared to stalked the hole for a few seconds, before following the stream edge and then crossed the creek.
Now this is where the identification of the predator gets tricky! I am going to use my SWAG (Scientific Wild Ass Guess) from this point on! The prints were more than a foot apart but less than 2 feet with what appeared to be bigger paws. The print was snowed over and I had a hard time making out the print but you could could almost make it out. The tracks were staggered like a dog or cat, so you can throw out any of the weasels as being an option. Prints were not right for Skunk, Porcupine or even a Raccoon but was not big enough for a Coyote. I am thinking it was a Fox or Bobcat! My SWAG is that this was a Bobcat due to the prints never showed any nails and this predator appeared to have super big paws (as if it had very furry paws which Bobcats have). I am more of a bird guy . . . . so would love to hear your prospective on these prints!!
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