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

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Return of the beige panther

I moved the camera closer to the boulder last week, and used three lures--the Furfindr, castoreum, and fresh crushed catmint--to attract whatever is out there. I wasn't really expecting another appearance by the beige panther, but the surprise image is what gives camera trapping its thrill.

So today I found 19 photos of the very same cat I posted here a couple weeks ago. The cat with the notched left ear seems to be spending her time in the two ravines on either side of the house.

Study her changing mood. As you can see above, when she arrived at 3:24 AM on April 27th, she was immediately drawn to the scent of the castoreum and catmint.

Next, she settled on the rock and waited for the noisy prey (the Furfindr) to appear. Ahhh, the patience of a cat. The noise-making device, however, was hanging 7 feet above her tail.

The miserable rodent failed to present itself; so she adjusted her position.

Now her head was beneath the periodically sqaulling rodent locked in a section of PVC (just kidding, troops -- it's really a recording device).

She finally accepted defeat, and satisfied herself with a few more snorts of catmint and beaver scent. Then she sat there with the unmistakable look of a forlorn puss.

After twenty six minutes of trying to see, smell, and find the elusive rodent, she parted ways.


Jackie said...

I love your commentary. Seeing that pretty kitty and chuckling at your words is a totally "safe" reaction to a predator. When I'm out hiking alone, knowing such kitties have attacked people not so far from here, makes me glad I'm staring at pretty pictures, and not being stalked. Oh yes, my mental state when out alone in the brushy, dry areas is way different. It's nice to see such a sleek, wild feline, via your camera.

Camera Trap Codger said...

I guess we all have to be on the alert nowadays when we're in the woods. When I was a kid wandering around the Santa Cruz mountains we never worried. The risk is miniscule, but no one wants to tempt fate. There are some good websites about 'ciphering' moutain lion behavior and minimizing risk. At this time of year there is plenty of food -- the black-tailed deer are dropping fawns. The down side, is that the visibility in the woods is low. Better conditions for prowling cats. Good to hear from you, zhakee.

Jace Stansbury said...


Very nice!!!!
By the way my Fur-FindR arrived in the mail. How cool is this tool! I can't wait to try it. How did you mount it to the tree? Also- where did you get the beaver scent?

Camera Trap Codger said...

I would use some plumbers strap or soft metal to make a clamp for the Furfindr. Fit it around the middle. Then connect it to a length of chain. You can then fasten the FF to a limb, or wrap it around a tree trunk. Use a climbers clip or a nut and bolt to fasten the chain. If there are no trees around anchor it with an angle iron stake. I wrapped mine in camouflage tape. It helped to make the seal on the end cap tighter.
Good luck. Hope to see some reports on your blog soon!

Camera Trap Codger said...

Forgot to mention the castoreum (beaver scent)--check out "trapper supplies" on the internet. Mine was a Xmas gift from my daughter -- she got it at Cumberland's Northwest Trappers Supply.