Salem Maritime National Historic Site
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  • Wildlife on the Nature Trail

    Even if you don't see wildlife, someone might be hiding just beyond a tree branch. But how will you know?

    Walking down the Nature Trail is your chance to be a nature detective!

    Just like scientists, we can use our best observation skills to find clues of wildlife. Walk slowly, or choose a comfortable place to sit still. Make as little noise as possible and listen.

    What sounds can you hear?

    • wings flapping
    • bird calls
    • plopping in the river

    What are some signs of wildlife you can see?

    • bird feather
    • bird egg
    • tracks in mud or snow
    • chewed up nuts
    • scat (animal poop)
    • spiderweb

    What else?

    We learned in previous stops that primary consumers, like insects, are eaten by secondary consumers, like birds. One of the best adaptations to protect prey from predators is camouflage. Camouflage allows an organism to hide their location, identity, and movement. Predators might be camouflaged too, allowing them to sneak up on prey.

    Can you spot any camouflaged organisms?

    Image Descriptions

    1. Mammal scat of North America, courtesy of Predator Guard.
    2. American robin (Turdus migratorius) egg. Female robins typically lay 2-4 light blue eggs. Eggs take about two weeks to hatch and are about the size of a quarter.
    3. Broad-winged katydid (Microcentrum rhombifolium). Katydids are in the order Orthoptera, along with grasshoppers and crickets.
    4. Black and yellow garden spider (Argiope aurantia), from the Family Araneidae, the orb-weaver spiders. This spider's web is usually characterized by a zigzag shape in the middle.