Tracks, Trails and Tales in the Snow

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

Which way did the rabbit go? That was perhaps the wildlife tracking question I enjoyed using the most when I first came to Michigan and worked at the nature center of Cranbrook. Over three decades later, “when rabbit tracks appear in snow” is still my favorite trailside introduction to stir excitement in children – and their parents. Rabbits bound between shrubs and brush, and when a rabbit bounds (they don’t “walk”), they land with their hind feet side by side and their front feet behind their back feet, with the front feet landing with one in front of the other. Confusing? Not once you get field practice! However, if the tracks end at the base of a tree and just disappear, it’s either a tree climbing rabbit (a very rare species indeed), or more likely a squirrel.

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