Spotting Tracks in the Snow

Animal prints in the snow

During the winter months, it’s easier to spot the signs of animals once there is snow on the ground. Take your class outside and and become snow detectives!

If you spot a set of tracks that go from one tree to another and shows all four footprints bunched together with the larger ones out front, you probably have a squirrel. If those prints have an alternating pattern (like human prints), you might have received a visit from a raccoon. 

The shape of the track imprint provides a lot of information about the animal who left it. A pair of prints in the shape of a teardrop could indicate deer have stopped by, whereas birds leave tracks that resemble peace signs. Four toe prints and a heal pad indicate a canine or feline paid you a visit. 

Some small rodents, like deer mice, spend a lot of time under the snow and leave evidence of their visit with long winding tunnels that are visible from above. If you follow a trail and it abruptly ends at a large messy hole edged with markings from wing tips, there is a good chance a hawk or owl found a snack. You will be surprised at how many different animals call your neighbourhood home!

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