Forest Classroom

Tracking Down Wildlife

Week 5; February 12 2024

Today the temperature was in our favor but what made it feel cold was the moisture in the air. We kept a fire going and our bodies moving in order to stay warm. In the morning our group focused again on the patterns of animal tracks and their movements. This week the group was given pictures of animals and working together they had to put then next to the pattern card that we thought they followed, Waddler, Walker, Bounder, Hopper. Some of the animals were tricky but we noticed something cool. In the groups the animals all had body shapes in common, all the Bounders were long lanky animals in the weasel family, all the walkers have tall legs, the waddlers have big hips and narrow shoulders, and hoppers have big back feet. This was such a power observation that we made. We also practiced moving like these animals again trying to perfect the various patterns. 

Animal Patterns
Students figuring our animal tack patterns Photo: Audubon Vermont

Students waddling like a bear

In the morning, we enjoyed some field time and broke out the parachute again and had a blast trying to get two foam balls out of the parachute and then reversed it and tried to keep them in too! It was so much fun working together trying to figure out a good plan. 

 We then had a meeting to talk about our wildlife game camera that we planned to put up today. We discussed the purpose of the camera, why we use it, why it’s helpful, best uses, and some other things. We then voted on where to place the camera. We talked about where good places might be and where we should avoid. We ultimately voted on finding a place near the brook to place the camera. We went off and journeyed to the brook, once we got close, we started to be on the lookout for tracks and animal signs. We found a spot along the brook bank to put the camera. We hope to leave it out for a while, but I might go and move it to another location half way through our break and see what we might catch. Trail cameras are amazing and this is a great resource to see what trail cameras have picked up in Vermont, information about trail cameras, and you can submit pictures too. If you are interested in borrowing Audubon Vermont’s to use at home, let me know! While we were walking around we also saw some really great animal scat too! Try and see if you can figure out who left behind this animal sign. 

Animal Scat
What animals scat is this? Photo: Audubon Vermont
Animal Scat
Who's scat is this? Photo: Audubon Vermont

In the afternoon we journeyed to Beaver Pond. We discussed before we arrived about if we thought the ice was going to be thick enough and we decided that it wasn’t going thick and safe enough for us to go on it today. At Beaver Pond we tried to break the ice, slide the ice into some holes in the ice on the pond which was so fun. We found a patch of ice on land and were skating and playing on it too.

Students at beaver Pond
Sliding ice into the ice hole! Photo: Audubon Vermont


students playing
Playing and sliding around on the pond Photo: Audubon Vermont

 Before pick up we played animal charades again which is always enjoyable. We acted out animals in Vermont like rabbits, bobcat, horse, coyote, and so many others. It was great watching our friends move like these animals and use the information they’ve learned about tracking in order to act them out the best the can. 

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