Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tracks in the snow

Mr. Johnson found these cool tracks in the backyard the other day. I'm not sure what bird might have left these, but I can tell for sure that it was a large bird to have sunk down that far in the snow. I think a crow is probably the most likely suspect--especially since it seems to have walked a bit and the crows in my yard do that.
I know there's a Cooper's Hawk who frequents the backyard and I also saw a Red-Tailed Hawk land on a utility pole at the edge of the yard last Saturday. I think both birds would be big enough to leave tracks like this too, but I didn't see any evidence of a deeper spot where a raptor would have plunged in for capturing prey.
I guess I'll never know for sure, but the tracks are still neat and give me another reason to be thankful for snow! (hey, I'm trying to be optimistic here.....)


Shellmo said...

It made such a pretty pattern in the snow!!

Mama Pea said...

Doesn't it look like a Southwestern Native Indian design to you? (Okay, must just be me.)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Looks more like an owl dragging a rabbit through the snow to me. Interesting.

Kallen305 said...

I agree with Shelley on the pattern. It looks like art!! Very cool.

Lynne said...

That's so cool Ruthie!

mon@rch said...

This is an amazing find for sure! BRAVO

Gaelyn said...

It looks like a petroglyph. Nice pattern and capture.

Leedra said...

I guess we are all trying to be optimistic through this cold winter we are having.

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Jayne said...


Dana and Daisy said...

I think Mama Pea is onto something!

Red said...

Mama Pea it ain't just you... I was going to say the same thing! Like some kind of Native American Snake design!

KGMom said...

I really like the fanning out of feather imprint along the snow trail.

Mary said...

Dang. I thought for sure someone would ID those tracks!

Heather said...

Sorry, no ID to offer, but those are some very cool prints in the snow. We got up to almost 60 today, and just about all of our snow is gone! Back down into the 20's this weekend, though.

RuthieJ said...

Thanks Shelley, I thought so too.

Hi Mama Pea,
Now that I'm looking at it more, I agree. Have you ever been to see the petroglyphs down by Jeffers, MN? This does remind me of some of them.

Hi Lisa,
There are plenty of rabbits in my yard, but I couldn't detect and drops of blood, fur or feathers near these marks.

Thanks Kallen.

Hi Lynne and Mon@rch,
I see lots of spots in the yard where the little birds leave wing marks, but this is the first time I've seen wing marks from such a large bird.

Thanks Gaelyn.

Hi Leedra,
I guess this weather is something we can't change anyway, so we have to try and make the best of it.

Thanks Jayne.

Hi Red and Dana,
The more I look at it, the more I think the same thing too.

I know Donna, that's what's really neat. I just wish I knew if the marks were made as the bird landed or flew away.

No such luck, Mary!

Wow Heather, upper 50's sounds almost tropical to me! We've had sunny skies the last few days and I'm just happy that it's melted most of the snow and ice off sidewalks and the deck. We still have close to 2 feet of snow on the ground and I think it's going to be there for a while yet.

Robin Wedewer said...

Hey Ruthie! How have you been?

I thought about you this week when I saw seven bluebirds on my morning walk. I'm not sure where they are huddled up this winter, but it's close.

I always enjoy your footprint posts because I learn about things I see as well.

Robin Wedewer
also at

RuthieJ said...

Hi Robin,
You must have bluebirds that stay year-round too. I was amazed to see that 8 bluebirds were tallied on this year's Christmas Bird Count for Rochester. They must have good sheltered roosting spots with enough food nearby.

I was watching a crow in the backyard this morning and I'm pretty positive now that's who made the tracks I photographed for this post. It landed in the snow and just walked around pecking for stuff--I don't know if it was looking for bits of seed or just eating snow for moisture.

Larry said...

That's interesting-I'm going tohave to keep a look out for those sort of prints-honestly, I wouldn't have known what they belonged to.