Despite the secrecy of its lifestyle, the typical forest dweller, the squirrel, leaves many traces in both summer and winter. The squirrel hunt is carried out mainly with the help of husky squirrel, as well as traps and airplanes. In all cases, the hunter must be able to distinguish its tracks in the snow or on damp ground. To be sure to recognize squirrel prints on the snow, you can familiarize yourself with how the trace pattern looks from pictures and photos on the Internet.
Squirrel tracksSquirrel tracks
You can see that the animal has inherited, both when the squirrel goes “up” and when it goes “down”. In the first case, she jumps from tree to tree, throwing away sawdust, the remnants of dry garbage from a nest or hollow, the remnants of food. When the animal goes "down", the prints of its paws are noticeable on the ground or in the snow.
In summer, traces of squirrels can be seen on road mud or near a forest puddle, at which time they are not too downy, as in winter, and are more like rats. The location of the tracks resembles a trapezoid with four points, which are the prints of each of the paws with claws no more than 5 mm long. The prints of the front legs are located almost together, they are smaller than the hind legs, which are more apart and are located on top of the front. On the prints of the forelimbs, indentations can be seen due to the corns located in the lower part of the paws. The first toe (inner) of the hind legs is shorter than the rest. Traces of a squirrel can also be compared to rabbit ones, since it also moves in steps. During the jump, she brings her hind legs far forward, so on the ground they are imprinted in front of the forelimbs. The length of the squirrel jumps depends on the speed of its movement. With a quiet movement, the length of the jumps is usually 66-86 cm. Moreover, the width of the track in the snow is 11 cm. Unlike the rabbit prints that are arranged in series, the squirrel are on the same level. Traces of five fingers of the same size are visible on the back prints, on the prints of the front paws the first finger is invisible, since it is short. It is characteristic that, no matter how allure the protein moves, the position of its traces does not change, except for those moments when it makes short jumps in almost the same place.
In summer and autumn, the squirrel can also be recognized by another kind of footprints - the remains of food scattered under firs and pines. On the mushroom caps, you can recognize grooves from squirrel teeth, which are wider than other small rodents that live in the forest. On the branches, you can often find stocks hung with proteins in the form of dried mushrooms, from edible to fly agaric, as well as the bones of other animals that gnaw proteins, replenishing your body with mineral substances contained inside bones or moose antlers.
How do squirrel tracks look in the snowHow do squirrel tracks look in the snow
From the traces of food debris from squirrels, you can find out whether they have prepared for it or are waiting for them to go hungry. Under the trees you can find snow strewn with the remains of spruce cones and spruce seeds, as well as rods and scales from pine cones. If under the trees there are often dug holes, the remains of last year’s cones, already gnawed by someone, as well as litter and the remains of a lichen from a hollow, then the animal is starving this winter. In this case, the squirrel has to travel long distances in search of feeding. To distinguish the traces of a squirrel in low speed, when it leaves the remains from the seeds of coniferous cones, from those cases when they were fed by a woodpecker or crossbill, it is necessary to know how the proteins get the seeds. Unlike birds, the squirrel takes out seeds, biting off at the very base of the scale, as a result of the cone there remains one rod and several upper scales. If the cone is hollowed by a woodpecker, all the scales remain intact, only at the same time they are spread out to the sides or split. A crossbill takes seeds out of the cone so that some scales are torn off, and some are not touched. In addition, he tears off the cone along with part of the branch or a bunch of needles.
Traces of squirrels in the snow are especially noticeable with the first powder. Just like in summer, in front there are two elongated, diverging prints, behind two small, on the same level. The imprint of all four limbs resembles an inverted trapezoid. The width of the track is 11 cm, and the length is 7 cm. If the animal was riding, i.e. jumping from tree to tree, on the ground you can see lumps of snow falling from a tree, crumbling dry needles and other garbage. Before hiding in a hollow, a squirrel always confuses its tracks, so it is sometimes difficult for an inexperienced hunter to understand the trajectory of its movement. When tangled, it moves in a circle from the hollow, in different directions from it, coming to the hollow through the trees, or moving in a straight line to the hollow, and leaving it along the surrounding trees. She can also leave trails in all directions from the hollow. In winter, the limbs squirrels overgrow more snow, so the prints become larger. If the snow is deep, the jumping length of the squirrels decreases from 66-86 cm to 43 cm. In this case, all prints are grouped closer to each other, sometimes merging together, and the width of the track is reduced from 11 to 8 cm. The prints of the front paws may be higher. than the rear footprints if the squirrel is looking for something or jumping on a short jump.Squirrel tracks
Traces of squirrel feeding, in addition to pitted holes in the snow, can be indicated by the shells of a chopped nut found in a hole under the snow, which are always located near the place of digging.
You can find out that there is a squirrel nest nearby, by linden or another tree, from the branches of which long and thin pieces of bast are torn off. As housing, animals often use cracks in the trunks, voids or hollows that woodpeckers hollowed out before them.
The tracks of a hungry animal are called "eaten", and the prints of an animal returning from a feeding place are called "gai". In the first case, going for feeding, along the path of squirrel movement in the snow there remains a zigzag uneven track with a large number of undermines. The length of the jump is from 20 to 40 cm, and the hind limbs are parallel to each other or slightly apart. With a footprint, the length of the jump does not exceed 20 cm, and the hind limbs are scattered or “herringbone”.How do squirrel tracks look in the snow
If a flying squirrel lives in the forest, its tracks can be confused with the prints of a regular one, but the prints of a flying squirrel are smaller in size, and the front paws leave an imprint in the front, and the hind legs in the back. Flying squirrel is very different from ordinary squirrels. Its tail is shorter and not so fluffy, there are no tassels on the ears, and on the sides there is a flying membrane, which develops when the animal is in a calm position. It stretches only when flying between the hind and forelimbs on each side. Sometimes it leaves an imprint of the whole body in the snow, moving from one tree to another. Unlike ordinary forest squirrels, flying squirrels lead a nocturnal lifestyle and are very reluctant to descend from trees to the ground. If it is possible to see its traces, then they begin and end at the trunk of the tree, while the jumps are very short. If the snow is loose and high, traces of how a flying squirrel furrowed along it remain on it. More often, a flying squirrel can be noticed by its litter.