Forest Experiences: Animal tracks found in nature

Close to the trees

You do not always have to travel far for safaris - I think. Of course, I love Africa and its wild animals, but I find it almost as exciting to go out here to stalk as well. Here are some tips for a self-made safari with us in Germany to find animal tracks.

#1. ways

Greylag geese on the Steinhuder Meer.

Animals go their own way beyond our trails. It's fun to discover these "secret ways", not just when you have kids with you. Also in my self, the spirit of research always finds itself in the animal tracks, when I am in the woods and look for the animal tracks. Where could deer have their path? Wildschweinsuhlen one recognizes often still. But in some places in the bushes, branches are bent and the soil compacted, a clue to the ways of the animals.

# 2. sleeps

Sleeping place from the deer

Troughs and flattened plants are clear indicators that this is a sleeping place of animals. If you look closely, you can find animal tracks, maybe even a few hairs.

# 3. Looking upwards: Horste and Kobel

Horst? Kobel? I can not recognize it. Your?

The forest is a multi-storey eco-structure, you forget that too easily if you walk through it. If you want to find animal tracks, it is worthwhile to look upwards more often. With a little luck you will discover not only raccoons or squirrels, but also their dwellings. The best way is now, where the trees are still without foliage. Look up and try to find nests or squirrels. I have already discovered some buzzards. Nests can not only be discovered up there, but also if you let your gaze glide along the trunk. I have found a dormouse cave in this way.

# 4. Solution

I would say: Fox (right). But left?

The surest sign that an animal was around is always what it leaves behind, its slogan. I was astonished when I found page by page pictures of animal solutions in an animal track book, with explanations below. But, I learned that in Mongolia, nature photographers want to find animal tracks, they also go for the solution and know when they are where on the right track. So just overcome inhibitions and look at the excrements and puzzle out what that is. Is there already an app on this topic?

# 5. footprints

Clearly: Here is a deer in front of me.

Deer leave two moon-shaped tracks, in mice, the tail drags clearly in the snow. But what are the traces of fox or raccoon? Especially in the weather, where you really like to stay inside, can be found in the forest great animal tracks when it is wet, the ground muddy. By the way, children like to sprinkle it with plaster and take it home as a trophy.

# 6. seizure marks

Not only mammals leave scraps, also beetles.

Tapped cones, hazelnuts with holes or peeled bark - many animals can be identified by their scuff marks. Again, it is worthwhile to have a suitable book with you, to recognize, who actually gnabbed here? My favorite book is from the BLV-Verlag: Animal Traces by Lars-Henrik Olsen.

# 7. bird watching

Gray heron in flight

Lookout tower on the Steinhuder Meer.

This is really slowing down for me: In many nature reserves there are these bird watching huts as they are on the Steinhuder Meer . Just put it in and look out. Someone will fly by. Of course, it is also good to have a destination book with you. I also think it's nice to just listen to what songs I hear. You actually do not need a birdhouse, it is also on a forest clearing. If you sit there long enough, the animals will come by themselves - be it little dormouse or nuthatch, flitting headlong down the tree trunk. More tips on bird watching can be found here .

You can also do such safaris on vacation, I also did them on the Weissensee and in Oberammergau .

Have a look at this article on Pinterest.


  1. HannoverblickOst

    Great suggestions! I'll look for more wildlife tracks on my next trips. In the Eilenriede they are usually covered too much by humans and dogs.

    • Dear Simone, thank you! I'm always happy to see you here again. Yes, that is unfortunately true with the Eilenriede, that is the advantage of country life.
      But then you just have to look upwards.
      best regards

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