October 19, 2019

MyNature Animal Tracks MyNature Tree Guide MyNature Animal Tracks MyNature Fishing App

Beaver Tracks & Sign

Beavers  tracks and sign can be found just about everywhere in North America, at least everywhere there’s a water source. Besides water there also has to be an ample amount of trees to fulfill their dietary needs, birch, willow and aspen to name a few. Beavers, Castor canadensis aren’t the most secretive animal inhabiting the land, if their around you’ll find evidence of their sign everywhere, dams, lodges, wood chips, felled trees, stumps and scent posts.

 

The tree in this picture at right was chewed by a beaver. Beavers eat the inner bark or cambium layer of trees. They also  fell tree to get at the buds, leaves and newer, younger branches.

 

This image on the left shows a closeup of what a beaver chew looks like. Beavers as do other rodents chew at a 45 degree angle. You might find their chews several feet off the ground in the spring and summer months which would mean that that particular chew was made while the snow was deep sometime during the winter.

Beavers have unique tracks, some times their hard to find because  they drag their tail as well as  branches as they amble along. The tail and dragging branches will obscure their tracks if not wipe them out all together.

 

Here’ a perfect example of a beaver drag. In this particular picture the drag was about 5 foot wide  obscuring all tracks that the beaver had left.

If you do find a nice clear set of tracks most likely they’ll be in the mud on the waters edge. Their front feet resemble small human like hands 2.5 to 3 inches long with 5 toes. Often times the front foot may only show 4 toes in the tracks but they’ll still look like long fingers with claws at the ends. A beavers rear track can be up to 7 inches long and looks somewhat triangular in shape. The hind tracks also have 5 toes and you should see some evidence of webbing between them. Claw marks should also be present in the tracks.  Beavers have a gait pattern of a pacer, meaning all four of their feet will register independently. Some times however the hind tracks will  register on top of the front ones. With the wide tail drag and the unmistakable sign they leave you shouldn’t have any trouble identifying beaver tracks or mixing them up with any other mammals.

A good place to look for  beaver tracks  is  along  the muddy edges of their dams.  You should also be able to find the spots they enter and exit the water.  Beavers will use the same entry and exit points along the shore to go out and forage for food. Many times these trails will be churned up mud and their tracks will be evident. I have found some of my best beaver tracks on the winter ice where there’s a light snow cover.  If you see an open hole in the ice with sticks or branches strewn about you may be able to find some good tracks there, just make sure the ice is at least 3 inches thick before you venture onto it.

One of the  other signs that beavers leave are their scat. Beaver scat can be very difficult to find since most times it’s deposited underwater, but if you know where to look it will be much easier to spot.  Beaver scat is in the shape of a pellet either round or elongated, about 3/4 to 1 inch in diameter.  Their scat resembles  wood chips or sawdust stuck together and is usually a light brown to tan color. If you look at the well worn entry trails into the water you may find scat just under the waters surface or at the edge of their dam. The pellets are usually scattered or solitary not found in a large pile like that of a deer or rabbit would be.

 

I found this adult beaver skull stuck in a dam on one of my outings a few years back.  This shows a perfect example of the their incisors. The incisors are orange colored from the iron in the beavers diet.   I don’t know how it met its demise but it will made an excellent addition to my skull collection.

 

If you stumble across beaver habitat on your next outing scout around and see if you can locate some tracks or scat. Learning how to identify animal sign and the creatures that left them can be a very rewarding experience.

Happy Hiking !!

 

 

 

If you carry it in, you carry it out, please put litter in it’s place!!!

 

 

 

 

Arbor Day Sale

One of our favorite days of the year , Arbor Day is tomorrow and to help celebrate the occasion we’ll be once again having a BIG app day sale.  Tomorrow and tomorrow only!! all 6 of the MyNature Apps will be on sale for .99 cents, that’s a huge savings of $6.00 off our Animal Tracks and Tree Guide to as high as $9.00 off our National Park series.

Coming off our huge giveaway last week for Earth Day where we had more than 8,000 downloads total over a 32 hour period we wanted to once again offer a special to help promote an “Education in Nature”

If you ever wanted to tell the difference between a Moose track and an Elks track, or  Moose Scat from a Beavers (yes, their somewhat similar)  then you definitely want to stop by the App Store and pick up a copy of the MyNature Track and Scat App on Friday. We don’t skimp on our apps, we have all the mammals you would be interested in identifying included in our guide, over 45 total and each animal featured has a complete library of images including  illustrated track and gait drawings, multiple digital images of tracks in the wild, gait patterns, scat, animal sign, range maps, sound files and an image of the animal itself.

What Would Arbor Day be without a Tree? Pretty boring actually, but no worries we have over 200 trees in our Tree Guide that you would commonly find across North America. Did you know that we were in fact the first to offer a tree app that actually helped you identify a tree.  All you have to do is answer 1 or any combination of 15 easy to understand illustrated questions to give you a list of possible trees that match your answer. The more questions you can answer the more specific the search results will be and in many instances lead you to the exact tree. You’ll  be able to quickly tell the difference between a Red Pine and a Whitebark Pine, what the difference is between a Spruce and a Fir Tree. Identify a tree by the color of its bark or type of fruit. We didn’t skimp on this guide either, for every tree included in the MyNature Tree Guide you can view an illustrated drawing of the leaf or needle, a digital image of the leaf or needle as well as the fall color for many of the trees. We also have digital pictures of each trees bark, fruit, profile and range maps as well.  Were even planning a future update in the next few months and we’ll be adding roughly 24 more trees as well as a new user interface.

If your heading out to Yosemite or Sequoia National Parks this summer then you should definitely be here for Fridays big Arbor Day sale and save $9.00 on our Tracks, Trees and Wildflower app for those parks.  These are park specific guides, only the animals, trees and wildflowers that are found there are included in our National Park series.  We have the same great features from our Tracks and Tree apps combined with  Wildflowers for a very informative app on the flora and fauna of Yosemite or Sequoia National Parks. The wildflower section alone contains over 240 commonly found wildflowers. The only thing more knowledgeable than this app would be a park ranger!! Keep an eye out in the next month for this growing series of National Park apps to include the Grand Canyon, Glacier, Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.

Happy Arbor Day!!

Tracking Tips

 One of the best places to spend some time outdoors looking for tracks is a Beaver pond. Actually an old beaver pond which the dam has broke and left a flow is even better. Dams represent the edge in the forest, an edge is where two different ecosystems meet.  Wildlife are naturally drawn to the edge of an ecosystem and spend time feeding, bedding and hunting these areas. These edges are where the majority of animal sign can be found if you take the time to look. Elevated areas like rocks and logs  in or near the waters edge are great places to find scat left by Mink, Muskrat and Otters.

This scat left by a Muskrat is a territorial marker. You can see that there is both new and old scat where he constanly freshens this scent post. You might also find a latrine area where there are piles of different aged scat, these are usually found near their core area where they spend the majority of their time.

Sign left on the trails leading to an Edge area like a Beaver Pond are also good indicators of what animals are using the area.

     This Bobcat scat on the left was found just a few feet away from the dam itself. 

This scat on the right was left on one of the trails leading to the pond by a Black Bear.

One of the best spots to look for tracks on a active beaver pond is right on the dam itself. Dams serve as a kind of natural bridge for animals to cross on. Many times the top of the dam  consists of mud placed there by beavers to reinforce the structure.  Bears, Deer, Coyotes, Fox will all utilize the top of the dam to get from one side of the pond to the other and leave their tracks there for your identification. 

Next time your on an outing try to  find the Edge whether a beaver pond, mountain meadow, stream or agricultural field and you should have no problem finding animal sign.

                                                          Happy Tracking !!