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coyote tracks

The tracks I followed across our yard last night were definitely canid, and I'm assuming they were coyote, based on our dog's curiosity about them. But the gait was really intriguing. The footprints were in a pattern almost like a rabbit's. Three feet were clustered together, trailed by the fourth footprint about 20cm behind. On the road, the tracks reverted to the familiar pattern of a dog. But in the woods, they were in the 3-together and 4th behind pattern. They were not a long distance apart, so the animal wasn't in a huge hurry. It wasn't until I saw Nootka sinking belly-deep through the light crust on top that I realized the coyote (if indeed it was) was distributing its weight very carefully over three feet at a time, with the fourth acting a bit like a rudder. The footprints also showed it was leaning back over its dew claws, presumably to increase the surface area. It was a smaller animal than Nootka (German shepherd), but it was still bigger than a fox, and very few footprints actually sank down into the snow.

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The Muskoka Bird Board is a place to share reports of birds and other nature sightings in Muskoka and surrounding areas. You may also post a question about birds or birding in general. You don't have to include an email address in your post. Remember to include the location of your sightings - even the nearest town or major crossroads would be fine. See the Posting Guidelines for more information and helpful tips about using the Muskoka Bird Board.

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