Saturday, February 07, 2009

Tracks

I've been putting together a program about weasels. I mean Long-tailed and Short-tailed Weasels, not the ones sharing office space with you.

Anyway, I needed to find some examples of weasel tracks, specifically short-tailed weasels, because they leave such a distinctive pattern. As they bound, they usually take one long bound, followed by a shorter bound. The shorter bound is often connected by a drag mark, creating a "dumbbell" print.

So I headed out into the park to try and find some weasel prints. The day was beautiful. I went up to the campground, where I often find several tracks of many different animals from rabbits to moose.

There were many old tracks, not worth stopping for. The first good track was that from an unidentified rabbit. Probably a Cottontail, but I didn't take any measurements to verify that. Nice, clear, clean tracks.



There were quite a few tracks of domestic dogs whose owners let them off leash to just run and play. They were everywhere. That may be why there weren't many signs of other animals.

Finally at the top of the loop I was taking, I found these.


One short little section of unmistakable weasel tracks. You can see its little feet imprints at the bottom of the picture, followed by a long space, then a drag mark, followed by another long space, and another drag mark as the weasel bounded off into the bushes.

It wasn't the most ideal location to find them. I was hoping for something more like the rabbit tracks. But it's a good start. I'll keep looking.

2 comments:

Wren said...

Interesting - I see tracks in the snow but even with my field guide I'm not very good at identifying them.

This is going to drive me crazy: I saw a post not too long ago in which someone wanted to identify similar tracks, and I had no idea what they were. Now I'd like to point them at your post, but I can't remember who it was. Arrrrgh!

deejbrown said...

I am fascinated by this! Not that it's likely to spot weasel tracks in NJ. I crave this sort of discovery. Thank you for sharing this; we need more people like you in the world, who also share with the world, your life.