Animal Tracks

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When we were in Maryland earlier this month on ‘vacation’, Lorelai and I had a lot of downtime during the week. It was really quiet one day, so we decided to go outside and explore. We hopped on a four-wheeler and rode over to the farm in which my dad care-takes.
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One of the great things about growing up in the country is getting to see a bunch of different animals, many right in your backyard. Since we currently live in a big city, we take advantage of the “farm life” when we visit my family. The tracks we came across this time — deer, groundhog, fox, and I’m pretty sure I saw part of a snake track. =)
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(above) Groundhog. (below) Fox – according to my dad.
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Lorelai spotted the different tracks really fast. Though I didn’t get any pictures, she pointed out that there were two different sizes of deer tracks in one area, and decided that a fawn must have been there with his/her mommy. =)
tracks (1)You could make this activity a little more fun by doing an animal track scavenger hunt. Print out one of our BLANK scavenger hunt printables (page 2 in the printable set) and draw in the different footprint types.
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Tips for finding Animal Tracks:

    • Go a day or two after a good rain. The rain will smooth out the roads/paths and will be soft enough for the animals to leave tracks.
    • Go where there isn’t a lot of traffic – foot or otherwise. Farms, nature sanctuaries, and quiet paths will be a good place to start.
    • If near fields, look for “paths” through tall grasses – deer will travel the same path and you will see it pushed down in certain areas. Observe the dirt around the exit area of the field.
    • Don’t get frustrated if you don’t see anything immediately. Look in the woods under trees. You might see where squirrels run around, or even little bird prints.
    • If you live near a stream, walk beside the stream and look in the soil beside the water.
    • After it rains, put out bird seed on a damp section of soil/dirt. Go back the next day to see if any tracks are left behind.

Please be careful when out exploring. Be mindful of animals in your area, look out for snakes and spiders, and if you see an animal in the wild, observe only with your eyes– never touch!

Good luck finding some animal tracks! If you are able to go out with your child(ren), please leave a comment below and let me know how it went! =)

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