Post and photo by Kir Talmage, Museum webmistress/program coordinator
Last night or early this morning, some large bird left tracks in the snow (the marks are at least 2½ feet across — no measurement because I didn’t have snow pants and didn’t much feel like sliding into the creek). But which bird?
The foot-trail between the wings climbs from the tiny under-the-road creek up to the trail that goes from the entrance path to the bridge. (This will all make more sense if you have visited here). There are plenty of turkeys around and I suppose they could have made the trail and used their wings for balance while climbing. We see them frequently. both walking and flying.
On the other hand, there are more wing-tip marks down at the bottom, under a minuscule hemlock, without footprints or a wading-through-snow trail. The habitat is also good for barred owl: many hemlocks along the brook, and a patchwork of open cut fields, old beaver meadow, drier upland deciduous forest. Both barred owl and turkey have been seen and heard here.
I’m guessing owl, but let me know if you have more clue (easy!) or would like to see other photos.