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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.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Trowbridge shrew

I mistook this for a mouse, but on the computer screen at home it was clear that the ears were too small.

There are two species of shrews in the northern Sierra Nevada that sport brown summer coats and bi-colored tails.

The Wandering or Vagrant shrew (Sorex vagrans) prefers open meadows, while Trowbridge's shrew (Sorex trowbridgii) is found in conifer and mixed deciduous forests.

This hollow tree is in an extensive stand of red fir; so I am assuming we are looking at Trowbridge's shrew.

Shrews don't stay put, and they tend to be found in microhabitats overlooked by most camera trappers.

It's a special occasion when I get a photo of one.


randomtruth said...

Very nice catch, Codge. Do you think it was going after the carpenter ants? If so, I might need to get me a few of them...

Camera Trap Codger said...

It might have been looking for a spicy treat, but I think Audrey or Vasalissa dabbed some orange zest on that side of the entrance.

Henry said...

Wow, great stuff.

Getting pictures of shrews are indeed a treat. I find that most of my cameras either miss the shrew as they move to fast or the cameras are to slow. They also often end up being blurred and I can't make a positive ID.

Luckily if I specifically target shrews during the camera setup I get much better results and if you find a good location their quite easy to photograph multiple times.

Audrey said...

Lissa and I did rub orange on the side and we also used up a stick of Burt's Bees wax chap-stick; something (I would hope) these guys have never encountered before.

Chaparral Earth said...

I'm glad I found this blog. I often have known that what hurts wildlife so much is snag removal. In southern California the Forestry hands out permits for cutting down dead trees, then does a complete turn around and promotes Mountain Bluebird Nesting Boxes to be made and nailed to live trees- Go Figure!

Over here in Sweden they often leave dead trees no matter how big even in parks. I've been wanting to do a post and photos on some prime examples here in the City Parks where they do this for wildlife habitat but until now have been busy with other things. Wildlife snags are a dime a dozen here, they are everywhere and I have photographed several this year trying to catch a Native Nuthatch flitting in and out of the tiniest holes.

Really enjoy some of these posts.