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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, June 3, 2011

Pay attention to your enemy

Set 421 at the Chimineas Ranch-- an eroded outcrop hidden by a patch of holly leaf cherry -- was an interesting crossroad.  

It was there that a flock of chukars paused to roost in the trees, and bobcats left their calling cards.

But let's not fool ourselves; the attraction to the mammals was the bait (a punctured can of cat food) and the scent lures -- your garden variety fish emulsion and a butterscotch-scented concoction imaginatively named "green death".

They summoned gray fox, coyote, bobcat, and wood rat and deer mouse.

Here we see Br'er fox sniffing the lure while wood rat watches in the background.

Smart rat.

The wood rat that doesn't pay attention becomes dinner.

On only three occasions have we camera trapped these two species together, and the rats hadn't paid attention.

Consequently, they were limp or missing body parts.


Shervin Hess et al said...

That is so good. Did ratty hang around for more than one shot?

Camera Trap Codger said...

He watched and beat it. He appeared 47 seconds after the first of three shots of the gray fox. That was the last picture of the series. It's possible of course that the fox ran off with the rat in its mouth, but i doubt it.

Ginnymo said...

Beautiful, healthy fox. Just like mine. I wish that all the Gray foxes here would catch more squirrels. I have way too many. I have seen them catch a few. I'm anxiously waiting for the fox pups to come out.

Chas S. Clifton said...

Great gray fox picture.

biobabbler said...

wow, how amazing to catch the rat studying the fox. very, very smart. Congrats on SUCH an exciting and rare capture! sweet!

Joe said...

That is unusual getting those two in the same pic.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful clear images of both animals. Great stuff!