The Wrack

The Wrack is the Wells Reserve blog, our collective logbook on the web.

A Wildlife Tracking Adventure

Posted by | February 28, 2019 | Filed under: Observations

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of joining expert wildlife tracker Dan Gardoqui, director of White Pine Programs, and fourteen other hardy and enthusiastic souls for a three-hour tracking workshop at the Reserve. The snow conditions were ideal and we discovered so many different animal tracks while walking the trails! With each set, Dan provided identification guidance and stories attached to the animals' movement and behavior. Here is a photographic account of some of our findings:

Fox tracks

Coyote tracks

Fisher tracks

We followed the fisher tracks for a while and they led to a decomposing ring-necked snake! Dan surmised that the snake didn't bury itself deep enough for its winter brumation (similar to hibernation, but not as intense a sleep) so froze and died, and then the fisher smelled the rotting snake and went to investigate, later continuing on its way. What a neat find!

Dan found this dead snake in the hole to its left. We pulled it out to get a closer look.

We even came upon some coyote scat, which Dan excitedly dissected for us with a couple of sticks.

Coyote scat dissection

Thanks so much to Dan for guiding us, encouraging our curiosity, and sharing your vast knowledge. And thanks to the participants who registered for the program, supporting the Wells Reserve and partner York County Audubon. We have two more partner programs on the horizon with Dan Gardoqui leading our learning. Step Into a Bird's World is being offered on two different dates: April 20 and May 5. Hopefully you will consider joining us for one of them!

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