|David Brown's Wildlife Services
12 Hotel Road
Warwick, MA 01378
Tel: 978 544 8175
Tracker-naturalist David Brown provides several services focused on New
England wildlife. These include:
- Interpretive programs, including animal tracking and bird programs
- Wildlife inventories, including both mammal tracking and bird surveys
- Docent training of interpretive walk leaders
- Wildlife education planning for organizations
David Brown is a lifelong teacher and naturalist with more than 20 years
experience interpreting the trails and sign of mammals of New England. His
birding experience extends back to his boyhood.
David began presenting animal tracking programs two decades ago after studying
the field for six years.
Extensive wildlife surveys have been conducted at the Middlesex Fells
Reservation (Stoneham, MA), for the Greater Lovell Land Trust (ME), and at a
number of other natural areas in New England (scroll to the bottom of the page
for a complete list).
Docent groups have been trained for the Greater Lovell (ME) Land Trust and the
Friends of Alewife Reservation (Cambridge, MA). In addition many ranger
orientation walks have been held for the Metropolitan District Commission's North
David has also provided wildlife education planning for the Lakes Environmental
Association's Holt Pond Preserve in S. Bridgton, ME and for the Camp Nihan
Environmental Center at Saugus, MA.
A lifetime of wilderness travel, many thousands of miles of ski-touring experience
and over seventy winter ascents in the White Mountains round out his background.
David is the author of Trackards for North American Mammals and The
Companion Guide to Trackards for North American Mammals. Due for publication
in 2014 is The Next Step: Interpreting Wildlife Tracks, Trails and Sign.
A collection of 2500 slides and digital images as well as about 16 hours of video
clips form the main resource for indoor interpretive programs. 150 track casts and
numerous animal artifacts are also drawn upon for these programs.
Past program sponsors:
AMC Andover Committee
Andover Dept of Community Services
Andover Village Improvement Society
Assabet Keeping Track
Athol Bird and Nature Club
Cambridge Center for Adult Ed
Concord-Carlisle Adult&Community Ed
Concord Land Conservation Trust
Five Kezars Watershed Association
Friends of Assabet NWR
Friends of Alewife Reservation
Friends of Breakheart Reservation
Friends of the Blue Hills
Friends of the Middlesex Fells
Friends of Great Meadows (Arlington, MA)
Great Brook Farm State Park
Great Falls Discovery Center
Greater Barrington Land Trust (RI)
Greater Lovell Land Trust (ME)
Hudson (MA) teacher training
Lakes Environmental Assoc. (ME)
Mass DEM Project Learning Tree
Mahoosuc Land Trust
Metropolitan District Commission
Mt. Grace Land Conservation Trust
Mystic River Watershed Assoc.
Nashaway Keeping Track
Nashoba Keeping Track
New England Forestry Foundation
New England Park Rangers Assoc.
Northeast Regional Adult Ed
Northfield Mountain Environmental Center
Northshore Community College
Lynn Mineral Club
Saugus River Watershed Council
Southborough Open Land Foundation
Squam Lakes Science Center
Tin Mountain Conservation Center
Tyngsboro Bird Club
UNH College of Lifelong Learning
Walden Pond State Park
Walden Keeping Track
Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary
David Brown has conducted wildlife inventories at the following locations for both
public and private sponsors:
Alewife Reservation, Cambridge, MA, tracking and bird surveys
Birch Hill Wildlife Management Area, Templeton, MA, bird survey
Chip Stockford Preserve, Lovell, ME, tracking and bird surveys
Cope property, Lovell, ME, tracking and bird surveys
Cunningham property, Wakefield, MA, tracking survey
Duris property, New Braintree, MA, tracking and bird surveys
Flat Brook Forest, Hardwick, MA, tracking and bird surveys
Heald and Bradley Pond tract, Lovell, ME, tracking survey
Mason property, Williamstown, MA, tracking and bird surveys
Middlesex Fells Reservation, Stoneham, MA, tracking survey
Vandersluis property, Mendon, MA, bird survey
In addition, David has participated in wildlife surveys for the US Fish&Wildlife
Service at Lake Umbagog, NH, collecting marsh bird data. He also participated in
a tracking survey at the Mt. Wachusett "delta" development tract in Westminster,
MA, as well as at Thousand Acre Swamp in Phillipston, MA.
Solution to the problem on the Encounters page:
The predator was heading toward the top
of the frame with tail fanned and primary
wing feathers partly closed. Two wing
strokes are apparent, the first while the
bird was on the snow for an instant and
the second as it lifted off.
That the predator was an owl is shown by
three pieces of evidence. First of all, the
absence of the prey's tracks on the snow
show that it was hidden under the
surface. This required the predator to
locate the animal by sound. Owls have
very good hearing, hawks much less so.
Secondly, eight registering primary feathers shows the moth-like wing of an owl. Eligible hawks
in this area have fewer. Note that some of the lead primaries may be hidden by having been
folded in to add strength to the feathers on the downstroke as they hit the surface. Finally,
hawks and falcons normally land on their prey and foot it or sever its spine before flying off to
a plucking perch to feed. This scene shows a snatch-and-fly behavior more typical of owls.
A wing-span of 40 inches indicates a barred owl was the predator. In central Massachusetts
the great horned owl is much larger and the screech owl much smaller.
Since there are no mouse tracks, the prey animal was probably a vole, although a shrew
cannot be ruled out. Both animals try to stay concealed below the surface as much as
possible. Mice, on the other hand, regularly leave trails on the snow as they roam the surface
at night in search of tree seeds, their big eyes and ears designed to warn them of
approaching danger as they do so. The pine or woodland vole (microtus pinatorum) is the
common vole in these woods.