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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, October 28, 2010

Rodent rendezvous

The large burrow at the mouth of Badger Head Gulch

The mouth of Badger Head Gulch was a broad dry-wash with a sandstone bank, and in that bank we found a burrow large enough to be a carnivore den.

Since Fred kept coming back to sniff the burrow, it became camera trap set 393.

The camera snapped 155 pictures during the next 42 days of August and September, and the site was bustling with rodent activity.

Four species.

I am not sure what the attraction of the site was to these rodents, but not a single carnivore made an appearance.

Heermann's kangaroos rats were the most common visitors.

Adult Heermann's kangaroo rat (Dipodomys heermanni)

Some of them were juveniles.

Juvenile k-rat before filling the external check pouches

You can tell them from adults by their fetching, sleek, big-eyed looks. Very cute.

after filling the cheek pouches

The California pocket mouse was the other heteromyid rodent that visited the site, and though it is widespread at Chinineas, it was infrequently seen at this site.

The California pocket mouse (Chaetodipus californicus)


suek said...

"I am not sure what the attraction of the site was to these rodents, but not a single carnivore made an appearance."

Maybe that's the attraction...!

Camera Trap Codger said...

By Jove, you got it.

Just Jo said...

Is there something wrong with the adult kangaroo rat's ear?

Bruce Mohn said...

Were they possibly coming to get salt left over from urine deposits? Or maybe looking for bones to chew for their calcium content?