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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.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Night roost

The sandstone cave yielded 602 photos, but only 274 were of animals.

The low success rate of 46% was due to false triggers caused by bats.

They zipped in and out of the cave seeking a place to settle, and this triggered the camera.

Even so, we got 117 bat photos, and this yellowish brown bat with biggish ears was the most commonly photographed species.

Two species fit the bill -- the big-eared myotis (Myotic evotis) and the fringed myotis (M. thrysanodes).

The distinguishing characteristic, a fringe of hair along the interfemoral membrane would make it the latter.

None of the photos is clear enough to see it.

I am not confident of this identification, so this is a call to any mammalogists out there to speak up.


Hugh Griffith said...

Very cool. This cave series is spectacular.

Jake said...

Yeah, great bat photos.

Your usual stuff is good, but this was a very nice surprise.

brdpics said...

Dude- I love all of your posts but this is one of my favorite in a long time- those are spectacular pics!!

I know that results like this are mainly from your expertise, field craft, and patience, but may I ask what camera rig you used on this set? Really great stuff!

suek said...

I agree with brdpics - spectacular photos!

We have bats - I think - that fly around our barn when we feed horses at night. There is a fairly constant moving "chirp" (that's not right, but I don't know the right word for the sound) that I think is probably bats. It's too dark to see - but what else could it be? There's no light to speak of, and whatever it is is flying fast, and making a sound. I'd love to even glimpse them - much less have such a terrific photo of them! If they _are_ bats, I don't know where they "hang" during the day. We accidentally found one squeezed in a gap between the roof overhang and a beam - the space couldn't have been much more than a half inch - but all we have down by the barn is vegetation in the riverbed.

John W. Wall said...

You gotta love a flying mammal.

G Falxa said...

Yup, probably one of those two species (Western Long-eared myotis, or Fringed myotis), which you cannot really tell apart without close (in-the-hand) inspection of the tail membrane edge. Great photos. I do IR video of bats, since flashing them all the time seems to drive them away. But the image quality doesn't come anywhere close to these photos!

Camera Trap Codger said...

Thanks, Troops. The bats were not what we were looking for at this site, and there were no signs they were present. So we lucked out. The cam was my old standby -- a Sony s600, and the controller was a Snapshot Sniper. Yes OBG, the downside of flash photography is that some species don't hang around for more pictures, but the flash sure stops the movement well.

Cougarmagic said...

Amazing! AMAZING! Those bats are enormous! And such nice clear shots of them. I love this cave too - the napping fox is also an all time favorite of mine.

- Clark said...

Amazing! I can't believe that the camera had such a high shutter speed to capture the bats, and no blurring. You have got the touch.