Who Done It?


These tracks were found under a thicket of silver firs at about the 4,000 feet in the Gifford Pinchot forest in southern Washington.

Photo by Dennis Deck

Who made each set of tracks? [ View Answer ]


The top set of tracks are paired and symmetrical. This should suggest a tree dweller. This fellow appears to have run left to right, the hind feet swinging around forward of the front feet. Then he went back. The Douglas squirrel (also known as chickoree), the western counterpart to the red squirrel of the east, is common in this region.

The middle set of tracks also runs from left to right. Compared the squirrel this must be a fairly large bird. The diagonal stride indicates that this bird spends a lot of time on the ground. A grouse made these tracks.

The bottom set of tracks head from right to left. The oval shape (longer than wide) of the track and diagonal stride is typical of canines. The size relative to the other tracks are larger than fox and smaller than wolf, leaving coyote. A pair of coyotes worked this area throroughly.

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