One of the big challenges whenever we find tracks outside is knowing just how long ago that animal was here. If your goal is to eventually find the animal, it really helps to know whether a trail was freshly made or if you’re still quite far behind. Luckily there is a bit of a science behind aging tracks. If you know what to look for you can gain a practical accuracy at knowing which tracks … [Read more...] about How To Tell If Animal Tracks Are Fresh (in sand, mud & snow)
Learn Animal Tracking
This page is all about animal tracking. The ability to track animals is a really fun skill to develop that teaches us to pay close attention to nature.
One year during the spring nesting season, I noticed a sparrow making soft alarm calls and following a squirrel around the forest. Of course, I became instantly fascinated as to why this was happening, and it got me wondering whether squirrels ever steal and eat bird eggs. As it turns out, squirrels do eat bird eggs when they have the opportunity. If a squirrel locates an active nest, they … [Read more...] about Do Squirrels Eat Bird Eggs? (Squirrels As Predators)
Everyone knows that plants play an important role for the survival of wild animals by providing essential food and shelter. What’s less obvious is that animals also help plants in crucial ways that form a sensitive and beautiful symbiotic relationship. Animals help plants pollinate their flowers and spread seeds. Their droppings fertilize the soil, while grazing & browsing animals help … [Read more...] about How Do Animals Help Plants? (4 symbiotic interactions)
A key factor in every animal’s survival is finding enough water to keep their bodies strong & healthy. For this reason, animals have many different strategies for finding & using water from the environment, and it’s a great way to gain insight into their behavior. Most modern humans would have no clue where to find enough clean water in a survival situation… so how do animals do … [Read more...] about How Do Animals Find Water? (includes mammals, birds, reptiles & differences in the desert)
One of the amazing things about hawks is their huge variety of different strategies for hunting and catching prey. Some hawks hunt by soaring high over open landscapes as they watch for unsuspecting prey animals below. Others will choose a silent perch at the edge of a meadow, then swoop down at just the right moment. There are even hawks that specialize in hunting birds on the fly, swerving … [Read more...] about How Do Hawks Hunt?
I’ve been interested in the relationship between weather and animal behavior since I first started studying nature as a teen. Wild animals are constantly outside, being affected by changes in cold, heat, rain, snow, wind & dry conditions. This presents a great opportunity to gain deeper insight into the lives of local wildlife, and learn some amazing things about our … [Read more...] about How Does Weather Affect Animal Behavior?
Raccoon tracks are some of the most common footprints found in north america. These masked bandits love to hunt for tasty morsels along the edges of creeks and wet areas where they have no fear of getting their feet muddy. Raccoons are also a common visitor of garbage cans and compost bins, leaving plenty of opportunities to track raccoons close to home. Because they’re so common, knowing … [Read more...] about How To Identify Raccoon Tracks
Have you ever seen an owl up close in the wild? Owls are some of the coolest birds on the planet. They’re known for being incredibly stealthy nocturnal predators with highly efficient hunting skills. Yet unlike a lot of other sneaky predators we hear about in storybooks & nature shows, owls are actually surprisingly easy to find in real life (when you take the right approach). In my … [Read more...] about How To Find Owls
Animal tracking is a lot like being a detective. Every track and sign is another clue that tells us valuable information we can use to read the fascinating stories of local wildlife. Most trackers primarily focus on what kind of animal left a track, and while this is definitely a valuable skill, it’s really just the beginning of what’s possible. With good observation & critical … [Read more...] about What Do Animal Tracks Tell Us?
For many people, discovering fresh deer tracks marks the beginning of a life-long journey towards deeper understanding of deer and their environment. If you’ve ever stumbled across these two toed hoof prints in the mud, then you know the feeling of intrigue and curiosity as you realize that not too long ago, a wild animal was standing right here: Is this a deer track?How long ago was it … [Read more...] about Deer Tracks And What They Tell You (ID, Speed, Direction, etc)