Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tracks of the night stalker!

The "landing imprint" of a white-footed mouse!
photos by Jonathan Schechter
Oakland County, Michigan  Feb 13, 2012

This night stalker is not a wolf, wolverine, cougar or a ferocious beast of early man's nightmares. 
 The nocturnal white-footed mouse of Michigan woodlands is seldom seen and
best known to great horned, barred and screech owls.
They like them: For dinner.
But after a fluffy layer of snow falls, tracks and trails of this tiny tree-climbing  rodent are unmistakable. Above: The body imprint where a mouse leapt down from a low branch
and then tunneled into the snow.  Below: The characteristic leaping, tunneling  and
 trail dragging race to the next tree before winged death descends.
Why trees? They provide safe shelter in old bird nests and tree cavities.
And of course old cones, seeds, nuts and acorns provide nutrition in the late days of winter.

The tunneling and leaping tracks of a white-footed mouse racing for shelter


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