Thursday, September 26, 2013

Game with Friday Field School

The frantic energy of squirrels in the fall

While out on a wander a few weeks ago, my Guild noticed a well-worn trail. We got into tracking mode and looked for any signs we could to determine what species used the trail. We found a spot with fresh urine marking it (smelled like sweet pine needles, indicating it's an herbivore). We followed the trail uphill and found an trance to a burrow. We speculated about who lived in it and looked for hairs around the entrance and fresh footprints. The entrance had exposed sand so we thought it might be active. We guessed woodchuck.

Raccoons investigating our game cam!

Not surprisingly, during the day most of our videos were of squirrels. One of the coolest parts of the squirrel videos was watching them bury red oak acorns and bitternut hickory seeds. They then pad up the ground to hide their tracks. During the night we got lots of videos of raccoons (above) and a bunch of skunks. The squirrels seemed to avoid the trail, while the skunk and raccoons (there are at least 2 raccoons) stayed along the trail pretty faithfully. We'll be setting the game cam again this week and this time baiting it to see what changes we can observe. 

Skunk caught on the game cam

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