It is a typically Canadian winter day. The snowflakes make their way down from the sky, landing gently on the ground below. With your puffy winter coat, clunky boots, and mitts on, you look out and all that can be seen is a blank white canvas.
But is this canvas really blank?
Snow has this unique ability to cover things up while revealing so much at the same time, especially when it comes to the mysterious lives of the animals that call High Park their home.
As they move across the snow-covered ground, animals leave footprints (or tracks) behind. By taking a closer look at these tracks, not only can you discover what creatures have passed by, but you can also get some insight into what they were doing, where they were going, and how they move.
Given that High Park has many Oak trees, it is no surprise that one of the more common tracks that can be seen in the snow belong to Squirrels. However, you may also see some tracks in the park that will leave you puzzled and a bit unsure. With some research, you might be able to figure it out, but other times, the tracks will remain a mystery. Isn’t that also part of the fun?
Here are some helping hints for track ID:
1. Count the number of toes on the print and look for claw marks
2. Look for patterns of movements
3. Measure the size and look at the shape and compare
4. Measure the distance between tracks