Thursday, January 28, 2010

Porcupine dens

Janet writes: Dan and I saw quite a bit at Quabbin yesterday, despite
the less than optimal tracking conditions. Shown here are three
different types of porcupine dens. The scat outside the dens indicated
porcupine residence.

I'm guessing that a rock crevice in an elevated location would be most
desirable for winter denning, and you can see that the one we
photographed is currently occupied. The hole in the ground was actually
in a stream bank -- not the sort of location I would expect for this
species, but the scat outside it was very fresh. Perhaps the younger
animals get stuck with less desirable spots like that. All three dens
were close to hemlocks, favorite winter porcupine fare.

The tree den is interesting because of the large debarked patch. I
believe this is old porcupine feeding sign. I've seen porc. debarking
low on trees before, but never that large a patch, and never on so large
a tree. I think it was a red oak.

No comments:

Post a Comment