KID’S CORNER: Winter Animal Tracking!

animaltracksLooking for animal tracks is a fun activity to do any time of year, but it is especially easy to do in the winter. Snow covers the ground and lets us see traces left by animals of where they’ve been and what they are up to.

DID YOU KNOW: you can learn much more from a track than just the name of the animal that made it? A track can tell you the who, what, when, where, and why of an animal and its behavior.

WHO: Whose tracks are you looking at? Are they paw prints from a wolf or lynx, or are they hoof tracks from a moose? Are there talon and wing marks from an eagle or an owl?

WHAT: What was the animal doing? Were they walking in a straight path on their way to something? Were they circling one particular area?

WHEN: When were the tracks made? Are they fresh or have they been there a few days and are covered in pine needles?

WHERE: Where was the animal going? Which direction are the tracks facing? Do they lead into a den or stop at the bottom of a tree?

WHY: Why was the animal there? Look for other clues the animal may have left behind, such as scat, hair, chew marks, or broken branches.

Many GLT project sites are great for winter animal tracking! Try looking for moose tracks at the Helen Louise McDowell Sanctuary, or scope out some Lynx prints at Tanglewood Park.
Or see if you can find any little critter trails at the Fish Creek Estuary.