|David Brown's Wildlife Services
12 Hotel Road
Warwick, MA 01378
Tel: 978 544 8175
Tracker-naturalist David Brown offers a
variety of interpretive programs to the
public. These are organized in two ways:
Sponsored programs are hosted by
organizations at their location. These
groups include conservation agencies, land
trusts, state parks, wildlife sanctuaries,
adult education centers and nature clubs.
Quabbin Trails programs are arranged by
David Brown, himself, and are usually
conducted at Quabbin Reservation in
Indoor/outdoor. Both indoor and outdoor programs are offered. Many sponsored and all
Quabbin Trails are held outdoors in the forests, fields, meadows and marshes of New England.
Indoor programs draw on David Brown's extensive collection of slides and video clips of the
animals themselves as well as their tracks and sign.
Animal tracking programs. Interpretive programs mainly center on
animal tracking. Wild animals flee from us and hide in the night so that
most of their lives are hidden from direct view. But by careful
observation of the tracks and sign they leave behind we can visualize
their activities in the mind's eye and learn a great deal about their
relationships with their environment. This is "eco-tracking".
Bird programs are also offered seasonally, mostly during
the spring migration as well as during the fall hawk
movement. Indoor programs rely on vivid video clips shot by
David Brown in various natural areas of New England. Once
again an effort is made to move beyond identification into
the behavior and life history of the birds presented.
Other Programs on related topics are also provided from time to
time, either self-sponsored or hosted by organizations:
- Natural ski-touring combines instruction in classic touring
technique and equipment with investigation of the winter
world. What makes those holes in the snow that cross ski
- Finding Your Way in the Woods teaches land navigation.
Both the traditional use of map and compass as well as the
modern GPS are explored. The fundamental skill of reading
the ground is stressed.
- How to Stay Warm Outdoors in the Winter provides
information on clothing, equipment and behavior to make us
comfortable spending long periods away from heated shelter.
David Brown's 9-page handout by the same title is provided
as part of these programs.
Photo Richard Johnson
Solution to the tracking problem on the Encounters page:
In the habitat and region indicated there are
three possible candidates for this kind of
feeding: beaver, porcupine and cottontail rabbit.
Snowshoe hare do not range into this particular
This work was done by a cottontail.
The characteristic of the gnaw that points to this
species is its roughness. Both beavers and
porcupines are careful to remove only the
nutritious portion of the bark, stripping the
Cottontails, like other lagomorphs differ in their tooth arrangement. Where the other two candidate
species have a single set of two upper incisors, lagomorphs have a second set of rudimentary
incisors directly behind the front ones. Rather than neatly chiselling off the cambium with the two
central incisors, cottontails scrape it off roughly with all four, removing some wood with the
cambium and leaving this characteristic rough gnaw.