Mammals: Northern Raccoon

Photo of Northern Raccoon

Mainly active at night, Northern Raccoons (Procyon lotor) often spend their days resting in trees, rock crevices, brush piles, vacant buildings, and . . . brick chimneys. These long-haired omnivores thrive in a variety of habitats including woodlands, farm edges, swamps, suburbs, and urban centers, with a preference for areas close to fresh or salt water.

Photo of Northern Raccoon

These masked mammals are sometimes seen in the morning hours, but finding their footprints is often the best way to note their presence in an area. In snow, sand, or mud, their front and hind feet leave distinct impressions, each showing five digits with corresponding nail marks. Their unique walking pattern consists of alternating pairs of nearly side-by-side front and hind tracks -- a track pattern left by no other New England mammal.

Photo of Northern Raccoon tracks

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