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QUIZ: Cat, Coyote, or Cottontail?
Hikes on freshly fallen snow reveal the non-human dwellers of your woods. But can you identify who has hiked your path before you?
Can you guess which tracks belong to the bobcat, cottontail rabbit, and coyote?
Here’s a hint, in case you need a little more definition of the outline and details of the tracks:
A. Cottontail Rabbit. The fur-covered toes and feet of the rabbit make for rounded paw prints in the snow. The front foot is more rounded, while the hindfoot is oblong. Look for a pattern of bounding tracks where the four paws create a long rectangle shape.
B. Coyote. The coyote has four toes with claws on both the front and hind feet. Look for claw marks. The hindfoot is slightly smaller than the front foot with smaller footpads, too. Often, the coyote gait has the front and hind feet on the same side of the body landing close together in a long narrow path.
C. Bobcat. Bobcats have four toes and rounded pads. While bobcats have claws, they are retractable and are not exposed when walking, unlike dogs. It’s a key clue you’re viewing a cat’s track and not a coyote.