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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.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The continuing quest

The biggest blue blossum (Ceanothus thyrsiflora) I've ever seen (uprooted by the storm)

The weather forecast was for sunshine on Thursday, so I drove to Arcata on Wednesday.

It drizzled on and off the next day.

Spring storms had uprooted a few trees, but spared the video camera in the fir tree.

When I reached it I saw worrisome droplets of water inside the Fresnel lens over PIR sensor, but my paranoid fears were for naught, the camera was still perched on the limb.

After unscrewing the lag bolt I took a close look at the tree vole nest, and realized something had destroyed it.    

The nest cavity had apparently been only an inch or two under the surface of the fir needles, but it was no longer a solid mass. The core of the nest had been torn apart. 

We retreated to the truck, uploaded 12 video clips to my laptop, and found only 2 contained footage of the vole.

The other clips contained other arboreal visitors.

What follows is not exactly action-packed, and the jury is still out as to the identity of the nest wrecker.

But if you want to see the voles and the suspects, have a look.


JK said...

Congrats Chris. That new toy takes pretty nice night videos.

Could weather have been the culprit? A branch come smashing down or winds blowing the nest's support down?

Sebastian Kennerknecht said...

Great footage Codg! As if those voles didn't have enough to worry about living far off the ground.

Camera Trap Codger said...

I really don't think it was the weather or falling branches, because that nest was really lodged in there. It looked like something had scratched into the nest chamber. A bear would have obliterated it, but a squirrel . . . well, I'm wondering if those little rascals might at times seek out tender tree voles. There's no question that spotted owls like them. I should have photographed the remains of the nest, but I was too eager to see what had been there.

Alyssa Johnson said...

Is chickaree a local common name? That squirrel looked like our reds here in the East. That FS was also adorable! I've been dying to get one on my cameras. Any idea if it's a N or S?

Lauren said...

Wonderful footage and great editing! Love the different squirrels both using the same branches. The technology in remote sensing sure has come a long way!

randomtruth said...

Great hack Codge. Really tight footage. Shows that like Neotoma fuscipes houses, lots of critters like to opportunistically poke around vole nests. Too bad the cam ran out before the culprit was caught in action. I definitely wouldn't bet against you - my thought right away was a squirrel species.

Camera Trap Codger said...

Yeah--chickaree is the local name for our Douglas squirrel, and the flying squirrel is the Northern. The text boxes in IMovie are too limited for the full names.

Anonymous said...

Love the little video, it was very well done! Cute subject matter too!


Owlman said...

Congratulations Codge the video
Looks great on the computer screen.
I would call this a very successful

Kitt said...

Saw this today and thought of you:

Well-traveled Oregon wolf photographed in California.