ID predators from sites and sounds - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 03-09-2013, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
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ID predators from sites and sounds

Some of you know I'm relatively new to chickens. As spring approaches, I know I'm going to have to get more serious about watching out for 4-legged prowlers.

This morning I saw some tracks in the snow all around the perimeter of my chicken run that I couldn't identify, and I searched around a bit to see if I could figure it out based on other pictures. I didn't have any luck though, so thought I would post them here to see if anyone else could help me figure it out. It definitely doesn't look like possum, fisher cat, skunk, anything else that would have more of a "hand" print. It oddly almost looks like a very tiny deer to me, but I'm sure that's not it. Whatever it was didn't seem to get into the pen, just walked right around it. Maybe whatever it was was too light to leave a full track?

I'd love opinions, and also thought it could be really informative if people would post pictures of other predator tracks they've seen around their farm. Audio recordings of stuff near the barn would be cool too (I keep trying to capture audio of the coyote pack hunting near the place where I board- it is a scary sound, but so memorable...)

(I know the foreground looks like chicken prints, but if you look towards the back portion, it shows more what you see in the closeup in the second picture)




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post #2 of 11 Old 03-09-2013, 10:00 AM
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Doesn't look like predator tracks to me. Some kind of bird is my guess.

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post #3 of 11 Old 03-09-2013, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Speed Racer View Post
Doesn't look like predator tracks to me. Some kind of bird is my guess.
Yup, those look like bird tracks....
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post #4 of 11 Old 03-09-2013, 10:09 AM
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Looks like a bird to me too. The feet land together as it hopped. And it is light enough that it didn't sink all the way in the snow.
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post #5 of 11 Old 03-09-2013, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speed Racer View Post
Doesn't look like predator tracks to me. Some kind of bird is my guess.
Hmmm...how far would a bird walk though? This walked the length of a 20 foot pen, then across the yard and over to the neighbor's.

Here's another pic with a sense of scale:


And the track walking away across the yard:
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post #6 of 11 Old 03-09-2013, 10:13 AM
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Ok looking at the new pics, it could be a squirrel, they have the bounding track like that, or possibly a small rabbit, see the longer feet in the back?

Or it's a weasel/irmine (in the winter)......they make an interesting noise!!!
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post #7 of 11 Old 03-09-2013, 10:16 AM
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Birds would rather hop than fly. Takes less energy.

Could have been a squirrel or wild rabbit, but either way it wasn't a predator.

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post #8 of 11 Old 03-09-2013, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Speed Racer View Post
Birds would rather hop than fly. Takes less energy.

Could have been a squirrel or wild rabbit, but either way it wasn't a predator.
Got it. Thanks everyone, all very helpful. Would love to see actual predator track pics in the future if people have them.
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post #9 of 11 Old 03-09-2013, 01:40 PM
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Looks like 2 sets of tracks. The one with your hand looks like a small rat but the other one is definitely bird (looks like small chicken prints) and based on the size something like a sparrow.
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post #10 of 11 Old 03-09-2013, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
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I found a little pile of dung near the gate that was clearly not chickens; it was full of undigested scratch. So, something maybe rodenty found some corn lying around.
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