In the wee hours of the morning on January 18th ringtail paid a visit to a new camera trap site. The site was a log baited with egg yolk, chicken, and a lump of evil-smelling ground turkey (hidden under leaves--out of sight to ravens and jays). The ringtail visited the log during a three hour and fifteen minute period starting at 3:40 AM. During the 35 minutes it actually spent "on stage" the camera trap took 61 pictures. The animal was active--the average interval between pictures was 21 seconds. These pics reveal a little more about the ringtail’s strange behavior mentioned in the January 8th posting.
3:41:27 AM (photo # 5). It looks like one of the first things it did was scent mark the log. Notice that it is pressing the hips down. (Maybe you don't notice--I admit it's a crumby view). But it looks to me like it is rubbing its backside on the log. I suspect the ringtail has an anal gland or a perineal gland, and this activity leaves a personal "calling card" at the site.
3:52:08 AM (photo # 33). The "dopey phase". Ringtail seems to be "grooving" on the scent. In this transcendental state it seems to be leaning a little to one side.
6:43:20 AM (photo # 53). Now the animal is rubbing its neck on the log--possibly the well-seasoned egg yolk.
6:44:30 AM (photo # 57). Ringtail has seized a piece of egg yolk and is checking it out. I think this proves that egg yolk is a substance of interest.
Ringtail ate the chicken, but left the evil-smelling turkey burger untouched. It doesn't seem to eat the egg--it just makes love to it. In the second photo above, it looks like there is yellow stain on the back of its ears--could it be egg yolk? (Frankly, I'm getting a little bored with ringtail's obsession, and suspect you are too.)