Sunday, January 27, 2008

Tracks in the sand. (A quiz of sorts.)

To all naturalist/zoologist types: These images were emailed to me for identification. I have ideas, some more certain than others, but I'm curious what others might think.

The only locality information I have is Maple Ridge, BC, which is a city on the north side of the Fraser river about 23 miles upstream from Vancouver. Any guesses?


Wanderin' Weeta said...

No guesses yet; I was sure someone would know.

1. Deer. And something round-footed. Fox? Dog on tiptoe? Some kind of cat?

2. Same thing, moving along. In # 1, it was standing around. Or another kind of cat. And bird. Heron?

3 to 5. More of the same.

6. Mouse?

I'm hopeless at this. Even with Google.

pookie said...

Well, I'm a lit type, not a naturalist type, but that first one looks like a kitten leaping around in pursuit of a flying insect. You asked ...

A Local Naturalist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A Local Naturalist said...

Thanks Weeta and Pookie for taking a shot. It isn't easy at all, and I'm similarly stumped for most of them. Normally you would look at a track from multiple angles. It also helps to have some context: is it in the middle of nowhere, or in a vacant lot beside a subdivision?

What I see:

1. One or more cats. There seem to be two sets of tracks, smaller ones walking left and larger ones walking right. Absence of claw marks suggests cat.

2. Coyote (or canid of some sort) walking right, heron walking left.

3. Not sure, too eroded.

4.Same, bigger, but unfortunately not clearer.

5. A confusion of bird and rodent?

6. Small mammal is clear, but I would guess a shrew of some sort, more because of the seemingly blind linear progress of the track. (I've met a number of shrews trundling along like that.) But it could be a mouse(Peromyscus?) too, I suppose.