Week 3 

Printable Pocket

Journal (PDF) 

Click the PDF icon to the left. Set to print at 95% or fit

to page. Cut around the grey border before folding.

Follow the folding instructions below:

https://www.cutoutandkeep.net/projects/folded-notebook

Week 3: Mud Season Animal Tracking

We LOVE mud!  It can sometimes provide the best tracking conditions.

Go on a scavenger hunt to find mammal prints in the mud.

PRINT: An impression left by one foot

TRACK: A pattern of footprints

 

When you find a print, study it closely. 

1. Count the toes

2. Do you see nail prints? 

3. How big is the print? 

4. What is the habitat?

Toe Count: 
2 toes: deer or moose
4 toes: bobcat, coyote, fox, or a pet dog
5 toes: raccoon, beaver, porcupine, bear, skunk, opossum, otter, fisher, mink, weasel

 

ANIMALS WE WILL IDENTIFY:

Eastern Coyote
Canis latrans

Habitat: Fields to woods
Print size: width—2.5 - 3.5 inches; length—1.5 -2.7 inches
Toes: 4 toes visible in print, pointed nails of

        lead toes usually point inward
Note: X visible in middle of print between pads

        (same for fox, which is smaller)

Bobcat
Lynx rufus

Habitat: Fields to woods
Print size: width—1.5 - 2.5 inches;

              length—1.5 - 2.5 inches
Toes: 4, nails sometimes don’t show in print
Note: C visible between toes and heel pad;

             rounder than coyote print

Black Bear
Ursus americanus

Habitat: Fields to forest
Print size: front width—3.3 - 6 inches;

              front length—3.5 - 8 inches;

              hind width—3.5 - 6 inches;

              hind length—5 - 8.5 inches
Toes: 5, nails on front feet extend further than hind 
Note: Large toe is located on outside of foot


 

        Eastern Coyote                              Red Fox

       Bobcat mud print                            Bobcat cast

    Bear mud print                                 Bear cast

    Bear mud print                                 Bear cast

ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES: 

Make a Nature Journal
 Create your own mini field guide of mammals in your neck of the woods:
     - Take a photo or sketch the print
     - Describe the habitat
     - Include common name (and scientific)
     - Measure the print (width and length)
     - Count the number of toes

 

Make a Plaster Cast of a Print

 
     Supplies: 

  1. Plaster of Paris (available at hardware stores)

  2. Water

  3. Cup or bowl to mix plaster

  4. Spoon or stick to stir mix

    Directions:
    1. Build a small wall out of dirt around the print
        (don’t let any fall into the print)
    2. Mix water and plaster according to package directions; should
        be pancake batter consistency

    3. Carefully pour plaster into print to fill it and extra on top
    4. Smooth out top so it will be a flat surface
    5. Let sit for 30 minutes to an hour; or overnight
    6. Once hardened, dig around and deep under the cast; gently
        remove it from the ground

    7. Wrap in newspaper to dry overnight; or set in a sunny spot, dirt side up
    8. Gently brush dirt off of cast
    Note: If you can’t find a wild animal print to study, look for a domestic dog or cat print. 


    Activities from Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife:

Week 3:

Pocket Guide

for Your Phone

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