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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, May 23, 2013

Cub See, Cub Do

Brownie approaches a cam on a deer trail.
The white upper edge is spider web on the
spikes of the camera's bear guard.

Brownie is interested in cameras. Deconstructing cameras.

She took out four cams in the past month.

Here she perched on a log and peered at the mysterious source of wonderment before starting work.

She sniffed at it, tried to mouth it, and managed to dislodge it even though it was equipped with a spiked bear guard.

When she was finished the camera was 30 feet away.

It took ten minutes to find it, and I was one worried and sweaty codger in the interim.

The pictures told the same old story: bear finds camera, bear examines camera, etc.

Brownie seemed to be a lone agent.

But yesterday I collected the card from another camera (the "ringtail cam"), and discovered that Brownie has two apprentices.  

The clips could be better, but you can still see that one of the understudies is learning the trade well.


Chas S. Clifton said...

The cub not only pushed the camera but also changed the settings to switch it to B&W?

Must be un ours noir, because it prefers film noir.

What's next, "Only my right profile, please, it's the better one"?

joellenarnold said...

Wonderful post! That was a perfect camera placement until jr. messed with it...

Alyssa Johnson said...

What beautiful animals and great footage! So the cubs are cinnamon right? What is the genetic formula that gives a cinnamon mom 2 cinnamon babies?

biobabbler said...

1. What a FABULOUS way to start the day. Whenever I see bear cubs in person, I'm never this relaxed ('cause of the bear Mom factor), so this was DELIGHTFUL!!

2. Brownie is a GENIUS name for her. =)

john said...

A friend of mine has problems with bears tearing up his remote cabin. His solution involves various strategically placed receptacles, (doors, windows) that contain ammonia. The bear takes a bite, only once. Then the bear avoids the cabin thereafter. Could a similar stink bomb be used to protect your cameras?

randomtruth said...

Ah yes - bears. Often terrors to cameras, but also great subjects. Well captured Codge. (a retypo)

Camera Trap Codger said...

Thanks folks. The camera dismantling problem was my fault; I took a chance and used a light weight camera mount. The ammonia deterrent probably works with cameras and garbage cans most (or much) of the time, unless the drive to explore or eat outweighs the repellent effect of the ammonia. I was sold on it as a deterrent to garbage can bears until last fall. If the trash smells good enough even a good dose of ammonia won't work.

Chas, that switch to b&w is a quirk of the Bushnell Trophys -- at least the older models. But I won't rule out the possibility that an ursid enfant terrible switched it.

RT, yes, part of their charm is their destructiveness.

northierthanthou said...

Very cool images.

Camera Trap Codger said...


Here's a bit on coat color, but it doesn't really answer your question.


Alyssa Johnson said...

Interesting, thanks!

Leslie said...

Do you wipe your camera? I lost a camera to a grizzly and now I routinely use wipes to hide my scent as much as possible.

Anonymous said...

Hey Codger
Just returned from Zion and Bryce and found your Bear post.
Excellent footage.

Anonymous said...

The pictures of the bear are great shots. Trail Cameras provide a unique opportunity to see animals in nature.