Wildlife Tracking Walk

Tracking river otter at Quabbin Reservoir

We are proud to feature Winterberry Wildlife Tracking Programs!

Welcome to Winterberry Wildlife Tracking Programs! Winterberry’s self-sponsored Quabbin programs are suitable for adults of all levels of experience. Programs sponsored by other groups may be added at any time, so check back periodically, and suitability will be as indicated in the program description.

  • Scroll down to read the program descriptions and to register.
  • Click here to meet our leaders.
  • If you are an organization interested in having us lead a tracking walk or give a talk on wildlife tracking or camera trapping, email us at Janet (at) OurOneAcreFarm (dot) com. Walks and talks can be tailored to your needs.

Winter 2016-2017 Program Schedule

Presentations

Saturday, October 15, 2016, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM Introduction to Camera Trapping, by Janet Pesaturo. Sponsored by: Northeast Wildlife Trackers Conference. Location: Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife Headquarters, 1 Rabbit Hill Road (off North Drive), Westborough, MA. What we’ll do: This 90 minute event will start with a slide show on using trail cameras to capture wildlife photos and videos. Some of our own trail camera photos and videos will be featured, highlighting a discussion of how, when, and where to set up trail cameras. The talk will be followed by a short walk in the Headquarters surrounds, to demonstrate habitat selection and camera mounting. You must register for the Northeast Wildlife Trackers Conference to attend this event. Click here to register.

Tracking Walks

Sunday, October 16, 2016, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM. Sponsored by: Northeast Wildlife Trackers Conference. Location: Quabbin Reservoir, Petersham, MA (details and directions provided after registration is complete). Suitability: Adults of all experience levels. Program Description: Fall is an exciting time to explore Central Massachusetts wilderness, for many animals are extremely active. Small mammals busily gather and store great quantities of mast for winter consumption, while fox, coyote, bobcat, and fisher hunt for these hoarding rodents. Black bears feed with great gusto to fatten up for hibernation. The moose’s breeding season is drawing to a close, while deer are just gearing up for the rut, and both species are enjoying the mast crop of hardwood forests. Otter mothers lead their young of the year on fishing trips, and their shoreline family latrine sites become active once again. A new layer of leaf litter creates a challenge for trackers, but we are bound to find sign of many of these animals during this busy time of year. Come learn about our wild neighbors in the clean, crisp air, and colorful autumn landscape! Cost: $35 per person. Leaders: Janet and Susan. Level of difficulty: Moderately strenuous, mostly off trail, bushwhacking through dense forest. Register for this event through the Northeast Wildlife Trackers Conference here.

Saturday, December 10, 2016, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM. Location: Quabbin Reservoir, Petersham, MA (details and directions provided after registration is complete). Suitability: Adults of all experience levels. What we’ll do: We’ll explore and discuss the habitats and niches of wild animals, particularly mammals, in this stunning wilderness. The December landscape is often snowless, forcing us to sharpen our senses and search for more subtle sign. But you’ll be amazed at what can be observed if you know what to look for and where to look for it. In this diverse habitat of rocky hillsides, forests, fields, streams, wetlands, and reservoir shoreline, we’ll likely find scat and feeding sign of moose, deer, snowshoe hare, squirrels, and porcupine. Along the reservoir shoreline, we might find tracks of any of the region’s animals, including river otter, bobcat, coyote, and fox. Cost: $35 per person. Limit: 8 participants, ages 18 and up. Leaders: Janet, Susan, and Bob. Level of difficulty: Moderately strenuous, mostly off trail, bushwhacking through dense forest. Don’t forget to reserve your spot by registering and paying here.

Saturday, January 14, 2017, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM. Location: Quabbin Reservoir, Petersham, MA (details and directions provided after registration is complete). Suitability: Adults of all experience levels. What we’ll do: When snow covers the landscape, tracks become obvious, allowing us to more easily interpret animal behavior. If conditions are good, we’ll find plenty of tracks in upland forest where fishers hunt, and in brushy fields, where bobcats stalk and foxes roam. If safety allows, we’ll visit “cliffy refugia”, where porcupines and bobcats seek shelter during the winter months. If there is snow cover, deer, moose, and squirrel tracks and sign are likely to be all around us. Join us for a day of appreciating the beauty and enormity of Nature. Cost: $35 per person. Limit: 8 participants, ages 18 and up. Leaders: Janet, Susan, and Bob. Level of difficulty: Moderately strenuous, mostly off trail, bushwhacking through dense forest. Don’t forget to reserve your spot by registering and paying here.

Sunday, February 12, 2016. 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM. Location: Quabbin Reservoir, Petersham, MA. (details and directions provided after registration is complete) Suitability: Adults of all levels of experience. What we’ll do: In late February, fox and coyote breeding seasons are nearing completion, while bobcat breeding season is at peak. We might see evidence of male and female traveling together, or sign of females in estrous. In deep snow, we might even find fisher snow dens, and porcupine runs will look like deep troughs. We might see evidence of voles, red squirrels, and weasels tunneling. Snow is a burden for many species, but a boon for others. Come with us to explore the infinite complexity of natural systems in this incredibly diverse Quabbin landscape. Cost: $35 per person. Limit: 8 participants, ages 18 and up. Leaders: Janet, Susan, and Bob. Level of difficulty: Moderately strenuous, mostly off trail, bushwhacking through dense forest. Don’t forget to reserve your spot by registering here.