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Tracking Wildlife

On a sunny winter day in February, the Young Macnamaras visited Fitzroy Provincial Park with club expert Fergus Nicoll to search in the snow for signs of wildlife. And there were lots of them. Fergus first told us about how you can tell a dog’s footprint from a fox or coyote footprint. Apparently, dogs do not walk in straight lines, so if you see canine tracks that zig-zag, you know it’s a domestic dog, not its wild cousins. Trudging through the snow, we were able to identify tracks from Grey Squirrels and Fishers. The Fisher tracks came out onto the frozen Ottawa River, and appeared to circle before returning to the shoreline. This was really neat to see from the bridge.

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We came across a bird feeder on the trail, that was being visited by Black-capped Chickadees, and took photos of them. Fergus also explained how footprints of a rabbit appear backwards, with back feet in “front” of the front feet. It was a great day to be outside in the winter, and we all learned many new things!

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