We are well into our winter program at the Tantramar Wetlands Centre and, with the weather we’re having, I’m sure we could run these activities well into spring. During our tracks and scat activities we talk to our visiting students about all the signs wildlife leave behind during the winter. Students learn that although we often do not see the animal we can tell they’ve been here. How? They leave tracks in the snow, scat along their trail and signs of feeding.
Well, today we were very lucky. Not only did we find snowshoe hare tracks while we were walking down the trail but our friend stayed around long enough to strike a pose. His white coat blends in so well with the snowy background that it took us a moment to pinpoint him after we saw something moving around in the trees. He stayed put, turning his head to the side and then looked at us straight on, perfectly posing for a handful of photographs. Finally he tired of our intense interest and bounded away.
Further down our trail we came across an excellent specimen of scat. Upon inspection it seems to have been left behind by a fox. You may not all share our enthusiasm for this type of find but it demonstrated very well the difference between the scat of a wild canid (eg: wolves, coyote, fox) and a domestic dog. The scat specimen had hair and bone fragments throughout. A domestic dog’s diet does not include these components. It’s quite amazing to see just how much is happening in our marsh even in the winter!