For January’s theme, we celebrate animal tracks! We do so in January in hopes that there will be snow to help make animal’s prints easy to see. Today’s event was marked by unseasonably warm temperatures, which unfortunately melted the snow. Instead, we were greeted to the next best thing for finding animal tracks: mud!
The event started in the classroom as we reviewed the different types of animals whose prints might be left along the Nature Trail! Then, sixteen first and second grade students traversed the muddy trail in hopes of finding animal tracks! We were not disappointed.
We found a variety of tracks including White-tailed Deer and Red Fox! We studied these prints to not only identify how they look, but also to help us tell where they were heading. We also saw some less exotic prints that were very entertaining to the students: dog, bicycle, and human!
Students had the chance to learn quite a lot about the local mammals of our area and how to identify them by their footprints, but we were also treated to views of a few of our flying friends! We had a flock of 18 American Robin flyover the group very close, two Eastern Bluebirds including one bright blue male, and a White-breasted Nuthatch right in the open for all to see. In my opinion, the most exciting flying highlight was a Little Brown Bat flying over the meadow on our way back to school. I assume it was out due to the warm temperatures, but this was the first time I had ever seen a bat in the month of January in our area! Super cool!
All told, our animal tracks event was a great success. I hope everyone was able to get the mud off their shoes!
eBird list for the walk:
Bethel Springs E.S.--Nature Trail
Jan 12, 2017
All birds reported? Yes
Comments: Checklist taken from Trailblazers Animal Tracks event. Unseasonably warm temperatures in the mid 60s with overcast conditions. We found tracks of White-tailed Deer and Red Fox, but the most notable find was a flyover Little Brown Bat!
Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 1.4.2 Build 114
7 Canada Goose
1 Turkey Vulture
1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
1 Downy Woodpecker
2 American Crow
1 Carolina Chickadee
1 Tufted Titmouse
2 White-breasted Nuthatch
2 Eastern Bluebird -- In lower woodland area past outdoor classroom.
18 American Robin
5 Dark-eyed Junco
1 White-throated Sparrow
1 Song Sparrow
2 Northern Cardinal