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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Someone Wakes Up, but Who?

raccoon tracks

As Maggie and I took our walks today we found lots of evidence of a critter that hasn't been walking around during most of the winter. It's pretty hard to see any definition of the paw shape, or pad marks, or claws, in the soft snow. Learning tracks is quite a project, because any animal has several gaits, and conditions can make things look very different, too.

raccoon tracks About all I can really say is that it is walking in an alternating pattern, and it's doing it really consistently. This animal never changed its gait as it wandered all over. It had no concerns about being out in the open. I think the choices are a skunk or a raccoon. Based on the length of the strides, I'm guessing a raccoon

raccoon tracks

It certainly felt like taking a considerable stroll. It wandered kitty-corner across about 50 acres of land. I have to confess that I'm not very certain of this ID, but it looks a lot like the raccoon one in my winter tracking book, so I'm guessing Procyon lotor, the ordinary raccoon.

See New Tracks, New Tracks! for clear raccoon tracks in light snow
See Our Common Mustelid for clear skunk tracks in light snow


rainfield61 said...

It is like solving a puzzle, cracking your head, but is certainly very fun.

betchai said...

i am not very good with animal tracks, so I can not be of help, though sometimes i try to guess too, and it is fun.

Ann said...

Guess whatever it was thought it was a good day for a stroll :)

Sharkbytes said...

rainfield- I sure wish I was better at it, but I'm catching on

betchai- it is fun! Thanks for stopping by

Ann- Indeed! I discovered today that it actually wandered in from across the road.

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