Winter Twig Identification

One of the twigs found along the path to my site. I would guess, due to the shape of the bud and the size, this is a maple twig, which is interesting considering there are no maple trees at my site. My guess is that it was carried over by the wind, weather, or some animal. The trees that dominate this site are northern white cedars and eastern white pines, and many of the needles probably lie deep underneath the snow cover.
While the fresh coat of snow was so pretty, it meant I couldn’t find many animal tracks in my area! In the past, I have seen small mammals such as squirrels frequent the area, using the trees as a habitat. In terms of phenological change of my site, the deciduous trees surrounding have lost their leaves, and the birds and mammals that had once frequented the area are nowhere to be found: hopefully going back after the snow has set in, will reveal some animal activity.