Gt. Barrington, MA--Join the BEAT Wildlife Tracking Club

Dec 05 2018

Gt. Barrington, MA–Join the BEAT Wildlife Tracking Club

We’ll be re-exploring the northern extent of the Myrin Preserve like we did late last winter when we trailed the momma bear and cubs and found the porcupine up in an ancient ash. Park on Monument Valley Rd immediately across from Blue Hill Rd. Be advised, there are no signs that say “Myrin Preserve” or “Hiking Area”, it’s just a nondiscript parking area on the side of the road. If anyone wants, we can carpool from the Monument Mountain HS by the tennis courts at 8:45am.

Here is is a link to directions from Pittsfield to the parking area.

Last time out we had the great fortune of tracking in some snow! Practically out of the parking lot we were bombarded by weasel tracks, scurrying hither and tither, trying to hunt down prey. (It has been estimated that a weasel must consume half of its body weight every day) We were surprised to find the evidence of porcupine nibbles on black cherry, pleased to find fresh bear claw marks climbing apple trees and an associated bear nest, and perplexed by a dense grassy nest unlike the leaf and stick dreys (squirrel nest) that we usually see in hardwood forests. Audrey Boraski, while doing some homework stumbled upon an article (to be included next email) that identified it as a red squirrel drey. We were also divided over a cone-like growth that Jim Pellitier sleuthed out to be a pine cone willow gall. We were not surprised to find a lot of ring necked pheasant spoor, as they stock the Moran Wildlife Management Area, but totally at a loss not to find any kill sites. The event wrapped up by by finding some porcupine nip twigs, its den, and the actual animal. Good stuff!

BEAT’s Wildlife Tracking group meets monthly and is open to the public. Our group includes amateurs and professionals alike – join us!

There is an annual membership fee of $15.00. One-time participants can attend an individual event for $5.00.

Locations vary around Berkshire county – contact Elia Del Molino for this month’s location: elia@thebeatnews.org.

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The objectives of this club are threefold:
1) to educate the public (and each other) on wildlife tracking and other naturalist skills (including birding and plant identification)
2) to collect data (such as wildlife movement) for organizations in a position to act (like BEAT, MassWildlife, or a land trust)
3) to establish a robust wildlife tracking community

Organizer–Berkshire Environmental Action Team
Phone: (413) 230-7321
Email: team@thebeatnews.org
Website: thebeatnews.org