Sunday, January 30, 2011

Fisher on Snow Crust

Around the corner from the mink tracks that I just posted, Lars found fisher tracks on the same peninsula of Delaney Pond in Bolton/Harvard/Stow, MA. He was 2x2 bounding in the powder, and when he hit a harder crust on the snow, he switched to a gallop. I followed the trail in both directions. One way led across very thin ice (no, I won't go that way). The other way led to the marking shown in the third photo.

If anyone has tricks to distinguish fisher from otter, it would help extinguish my sense of confusion regarding this matter. I see no webbing in the prints, nor fish scales in the scat.

1 comment:

  1. With that scat and no noticeable webbing,I think you can be confident it was fisher. You know about otter slides, and another thing to look for is sociality, which you probably know about as well. At this time of year a mother is often still in the company of her offspring. Males are said to sometimes congregate in "gangs", but I am not sure about size of gang, how that behavior varies seasonally, whether they travel about on land together.

    Interesting observation that the fisher used 2-2 in soft snow, then sped up when he hit a crust of snow. I've been seeing the same thing: I think they are having a hard time in this deep soft snow, using that direct registering 2-2 more often than usual, and with short stride length, as if they are struggling.