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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.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The log botherers

The camera at set 340 managed to take 100 images before the mysterious impostor filched the batteries 3 weeks into the venture.

But let's forget the impostor and talk about the others who visited our set.

A handsome Heermann's kangaroo rat was an active visitor.

It even ventured into the log.

Of course there were deer mice,

 and a fit looking cottontail also explored the inner architecture,

which just proves something we already knew -- fallen logs are attractive features to small mammals.

But in addition to the log's natural allure, some bumbling biologists had stuffed a perforated can of cat food down a ground squirrel burrow right behind that grass.

This might have attracted a bobcat with nicked ears,

that waited patiently for that smelly can or a small mammal to appear.

A few days later our old friend with the crumpled ear showed up with those jade cat eyes.

He's a poker-faced veteran of the range. 

And we know he's an old rambler, because this is two miles from the hilltop where we clicked him last fall. 

With a range that large the chances are good that this cat is a male. 


Henry said...

Great photos and I like the new look of the blog.

I'm not very familiar with bobcats, but two miles doesn't really sound all that big to me… Do you maybe happen know what their average home range size is at Chimineas?

Camera Trap Codger said...

You are right, Henry-- HR goes from 30 to nearly 100 sq km in forested habitats in the US (we're talking males). I'd expect smaller HRs than that in Chimineas where the prey base seems to be quite dense. Smallest HR given in the ASM;s Mammalian Species account is 2.6 and 1.1 for males and females in Alabama, but I haven't seen the original reference. Seems small.

If "crumple ear" were a female, I'd expect some youngsters in tow at this time of year. All the same I am out on the limb of speculation, but I hope we get more pictures of the cat, including one that divulges its sex. Having an ear like that makes it a bit easier to ID the animal than comparing spot patterns.

Thanks a lot also for the great information on the Bushy Trophy Cams.

Barbara Pritchard said...

This my first encounter with a Camera Trap and what a wonderful idea! There have been so many calls regarding FOXES!!!! coming in to WildCare in Marin County this last week I thought I'd take a look around the net to see what others are seeing. Your shots are wonderful. Thanks so much for posting them.