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Native Californian, biologist, wildlife conservation consultant, retired Smithsonian scientist, father of two daughters, grandfather of 4 small primates. INTJ. Believes nature is infinitely more interesting than shopping malls. Born 100 years too late.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Camera Trapping 101

"I got two pictures of Br'er Coyote at a spring in Gillis Canyon.

"The animal above left after the flash. Below, it was trucking before the flash.

"The high-speed exit was an immediate response to the red-eye adjustment flashes - you know, the rapid volley of flashes the precedes the flash synchronized with the shutter. That picture was taken less than a second from the moment the coyote noticed the camera.

(Throat-clearing sounds) Student: "Sir: Do you feel bad that you were responsible for frightening the coyote?"

Codger: "Hell no! The camera tested that yote's survival instinct, and it passed with flying colors. I admire that coyote, and though it's a crappy photo, it gives me a chuckle.

Student: "But Sir, don't you feel a little guilty that you deprived it of a drink?"

Codger: "Pshawww! Guilty? You gotta be kidding. Here's how I see it, Laddybuck. 

"If that kind of thing hurt them, there wouldn't be many coyotes left. Natural selection is the school of tough love. There are places where coyotes are skittish, and there are places where they're bold. It depends on circumstances . . . . and we're gonna talk about that too, but let's get on with today's lecture -- the reactions of animals to cameras traps.

(to be continued)


mdmnm said...

One of the most interesting things about coyotes, aside from their adaptability, is their wariness in many areas. Years ago I was watching a coyote work his way down an old logging road through a clearcut, hunting mice and gophers. I had the wind and was in place when he came on the scene and was sitting very still behind a log. I was watching him through the binos as he hunted his way toward me, listening for mice, pouncing, grabbing, and sometimes eating, when at about fifty yards he whirled, literally in the blink of an eye, and was running the other way with an occasional glance over his shoulder. You have to admire 'yotees.

cliff said...

Great coyote photo, looks like a winner to me. To me the coyote is the best test for a camera trapper.

Appears to be the same coyote in both pictures, so why did it stay in front of the camera for a good drink of water in the first photo and seemed to be leaving in the next time it came for a drink? Are you sure it was the red eye flash from the camera, the camera noise, or was there a rabbit in the grass out of site behind the coyote?

Makes you wonder, tho on all my photos I have yet to see an animal frightened of the camera and maybe one out of a thousand shows the animal more alert or leaving as your photo shows. But, as a betting man, my quess is the coyote will be back for more pictures and showing no signs of wear and tear.

Kitt said...

I'm thinking more and more of a camera trap for my urban yard. Look what I captured today!

Camera Trap Codger said...

Neat observations and thoughts, folks. No doubt that guy will be back, Cliff.