The Wrack

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

Albino porcupine and friend spotted along trails

Posted by Wells Reserve Contributor | February 3, 2012

A quick lunch-time trail hike turned into an exciting wildlife tracking adventure this afternoon for two members of the Education Staff! After turning onto the Pilger Trail from the Laudholm Connector, we noticed the very distinct tracks below. See if you can spot them!

Porcupine Tracks

Hoping simply to find out where the elongate porcupine tracks led, we followed the footprints slowly. These tracks were mixed in with a few others, including deer, raccoon, and perhaps a handful of other small mammals. Luckily, we took our eyes off of the ground just in time to catch a fantastic sight in a nearby apple tree: a small, white, prickly ball, edging itself toward the end of a branch. An albino porcupine!

Albino porcupine

Thrilled to see such an unexpected wild friend, we rushed back to the farmhouse to grab a camera and a couple pairs of binoculars. The porcupine stayed put, soaking in the warm rays of sunshine, moving only ever-so-slowly to reach up with a leg and scratch its belly! Content with a few good snapshots and binocular views, we continued along the Pilger Trail, still delighted with our find, until we met up with the Barrier Beach Trail to bring us back to the office.

But wait! Along the Barrier Beach, high up in a maple tree, was yet another bundle of quills and fur, this time all brown! Another porcupine friend, whom I had spotted just last weekend in the same tree, was resting peacefully on this beautiful winter day.

Porcupine in Maple

What a wonderful walk, with such adorable and unexpected friends!

This is the second time an all-white porcupine has been spotted on the trails at the Wells Reserve, and it is one of a handful of albino porcupines that have been seen in the Southern Maine region. Many of our visitors are familiar with Edna the albino porcupine, a lovable wildlife ambassador from the Center for Wildlife in Cape Neddick, who has visited the Reserve on many occasions including summer camps and Winter Wildlife Day. We are glad to know Edna has a few wild friends in the area, and encourage you to get out and see what wildlife and tracks you can find! For a tracking experience with a professional Maine guide or an opportunity to see animal ambassadors from the Center for Wildlife, we invite you to join us for Winter Wildlife Day this month, on February 23 from 10am-2pm. Hope to see you there!

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