Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fisher body print in snow

Conditions in the woods were not great this morning, with all the
ploppage from the trees, but the fisher never fails to disappoint. This
was under an oak tree.


  1. Wasn't that not a double negative, no?

    Sorry. I meant never disappoints.

  2. Earlier today, I was asked why I posted this picture of nothing, without any explanation. So here's the story:

    It's a fisher angel, so to speak. It is a body print of a fisher - note the tail print on the left. Three of the 4 feet show clearly, but the right hind foot doesn't show, due to the angle at which I took the photo.

    I implied in my initial post that this was formed by a fisher jumping from an oak tree. But in fact I don't think that was the case here, and now that I have time to explain in detail what I really observed, I will do so:

    Entering the scene was only one trail of fisher tracks. Leaving the scene was only one trail of fisher tracks. Yet, under three small (8-10 inch diameter) oaks, none of which appeared to have cavities or squirrel nests, were three (yes 3) fisher body prints. So I figured the body prints were made by pouncing at something, rather than jumping from a tree trunk.

    No wee beastie tracks were to be seen, but the snow was a bit crusty, so maybe such small creatures would not make an impression.

    Another possibility is that the fisher was pouncing on rodents it could hear under the snow. However, I just don't picture a mustelid doing it this way. I've seen otters, and videos of weasels, doing that sort of hunting by shoving their noses under the snow, not pouncing. So, I'm skeptical of the subnivean noise theory.

  3. It almost looks like a violin imprint, Janet. I like the surface-scurrying rodent/pouncing fisher theory.