Beaver Pond Wildlife
Friday evening, April 28, 5:30pm at the Northfield (MA) public library (Dickinson Memorial Library) on Main Street, bottom floor.
This the first of a two-part indoor/outdoor program on beaver ponds, their creation, purpose and usefulness for other wildlife.
Saturday morning, April 29, 9:30am at the Alderbrook reservation in Northfield.
The outdoor portion of the program will be a short walk at Alderbrook to view a working beaver pond and sample the abundant wildlife that this habitat supports. The reservation is on the east side of Rte. 63 south of the town center. It is wheelchair accessible.
This program is hosted by the Northfield Bird Club and the Dickinson Memorial Library through funds provided by the Massachusett Cultural Council.
For detailed directions to either the library or Alderbrook, call the library at 413 498 2455 or see the bird club webpage: northfieldbirdclub org
Programs will be posted in this location as sponsoring organizations request them. Check back frequently for additions.
Answer to the tracking problem on the Encounters page:
These tracks were left by a mink. Like other members of the weasel family, minks show 5 registering toes on both front and hind feet. Because the front feet of a mink support the weight of the animal’s head, the toes of the front feet tend to splay more widely than the hind. Thus, in this pattern the two lower prints are the front feet and the two upper the rear. Although the front prints are larger than the hind, the feet themselves are all nearly the same size. Mink tracks are sometimes confused with those of a similar sized squirrel or other rodent. Note, however, the arch formed by the toes on the mink’s foot. On a squirrel the middle three toes are arranged side-by-side in a straight line. The gait of the mink in the photo is a “slow rotary lope,” a running gait with a rocking horse appearance. This is the typical gait of most mustelids when traversing a firm surface. Mink tracks are most often found on the sandy or muddy shore of a pond or stream since their prey is mostly fish and crawfish. However, they also hunt away from water, exploring stonewalls and other likely hiding spots for small rodents. Fierce predators, they may take down a bird the size of a duck.