Above all setting off for a hike, is diving into a world of a thousand and one wonders. Thanks to the wise advice of Jeremy Calvo, naturalist and head of videos at Quechua, you will discover how to observe animals in the mountains properly.
To make the most of the riches in the mountains, it is essential to adhere to a few rules regarding animal observation so as not to disturb the wildlife. Let's discover them together:
Listen to nature
Any observation begins with a period of listening to nature. Thanks to these moments of silence, you will be able to more easily identify the wildlife surrounding you and thus begin observing.
Locate the signs of wildlife
If your listening phase was not fruitful, looking for various signs of wildlife such as excrement, tracks or even tufts of hair might direct you to the possible presence of wild animals in the area.
Beware of the wind
Mammals have a very strong sense of smell so knowing how to study the wind direction is vital. If the wind is coming from behind you it is very likely that your smell went before you and alerted the animals who would flee before you could even see them.
Know the best times for observation
In the summer, animals avoid all activity when it's warm, therefore we advise you to focus on observation during the cooler parts of the day: from 5.30 am to 9.30 am in the morning and in the evening from 5 pm until nightfall.
Keep your distance
If the animal changes its behaviour suddenly, it is quite possible that you're too close. Always keep enough distance between you and the animal so as not to scare it and avoid it using energy needlessly to run away from you.
Do not feed wild animals
If you are close enough to an animal to feed it you are already not respecting the previous advice. We advise you not to feed wild animals for fear of making them dependent on "human" food which might eventually lessen their ability to find their food without external assistance. Don't forget that wild animals are unpredictable so be careful.
Limit the use of bird calls
Using bird calls makes bird watching much easier. But please use them sparingly, because they can have an impact on the behaviour of birds.
What are bird calls? They are made using a small instrument resembling a whistle which reproduces the characteristic bird song. We recommend that you take special care during breeding seasons and times of severe cold when the birds are more fragile and therefore need the the utmost peace and quiet to survive.
To finish we recommend that you take special care during breeding seasons and times of severe cold when the birds are more fragile and therefore need the the utmost peace and quiet to survive.