Saturday, December 15, 2007

Aminal Tracks

This is one of my all time favorite field guides and so much fun to use in winter! Animal Tracks of Illinois by Tamara Eder, published by Lone Pine Publishers, (click on the link to find your state's animal tracks) is very easy to use with tons of information.
What I like most about it is that it's fast to find what you need. I don't have to do a lot of reading to figure out what animal made what track. On the left page, there are three columns: 1) fore and hind print 2) walking prints 3) galloping prints. Way cool. On the right page is a drawing of the animal and a brief story.

Well, this morning I woke up to a light dusting of snow. My black driveway is PERFECT for capturing prints! How happy I was when I woke up and looked out my window to see all of those lovely animal patterns!!! Let's run outside to take pictures! Here are the results:

This picture shows tracks from a bird. Which kind? I do not know because the book only shows two types. Do you see the lines in the picture? That is the back "toe" dragging as the bird hops. Isn't that neat!

I am comfortable to guess gray squirrel for these prints. Notice my dumb butt mis-spelled gray on the picture! Oh well, these prints are one inch in length. The book provides a ruler measurements on the back cover for easy ID. What I love about tracks in the snow is that you can tell which direction the animal was going and relatively how fast or slow. Evidence.

These are just the cutest. My kitty contributing to animal evidence. I made her walk on the driveway (which she loves) in the name of nature research. They look much different than the squirrel's print.

The Animal Tracks series books are under $10. What a neat Christmas idea for your nature enthusiast, you can even fit it in a stocking. Kids just love exploring for these tracks and it's a wonderful activity to do together. Go play in the snow and have fun!