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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.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

An update on Barny

Here's a brief update for those of you who recall Barny's engaging summertime performances in a grassy swale on Barrett Creek last year.

The bird was a real charmer, and seemed to be playing predator games with seed heads of grass.

Owl specialist Hans Peeters advised us to "get it on video"; the pictures were intriguing, but they were only snapshots.

To make the case that the birds are playing predator, we need action-packed sequences of stalk, dance and pounce.

Unfortunately, we missed the opportunity to film Barny's actions this year, but we did set cameras at water holes in September, and it was reassuring to find Barny or his/her impersonators there.

There were many pictures of the usual shenanigans, and this time there was a trio of cakewalkers.

Since I just got a very good deal on a video cam (a DXG-567v with Infra-red array) I believe we'll be able to get that footage next year.

[Note: these pictures were taken with dated but reliable Cuddabacks supplied by Brian Miller of the Wind River Ranch.]


JK said...

Looking forward to the videos next year.

We have found that the Bushnell IR videos are not too bad. It takes the camera 1-2 seconds to adjust but does not blow out like the stills do after that first second or so. We can pass one on to you if yours are being used elsewhere. That way you can get some more coverage. It would be fantastic behavior to capture.

CGJ said...

What fascinating behavior. I wonder what the attractor is?

Camera Trap Codger said...

The DXP HD cams are definitely superior for picture quality. We'll get em on film next year.

CGJ, hard to say -- but there are a lot of edibles visiting those water holes, and there are always some grass seed heads to goof around with.

JK said...

Did you hack the video cam or is there an option to get one with an IR sensor? That should provide great videos.

Camera Trap Codger said...

I bought a hacked one that uses a PIR sensor.

JK said...

Very cool. Cannot wait to see it in action. I was thinking when the Flip Cameras were shutting down they would be pretty great if hackable, but well out of my ability to figure out.

Camera Trap Codger said...

There are hacks for the Flips and the DXGs, but its terra nova to me, and with the IR array and external microphone a lot more complicated than an s600. I'm working up to hacking the DXG 125v. One of these days you'll see some wood rat footage from the one I bought.