About Me

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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.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Friendly Foragers

Montana Carl observed that the seasonal creek is a gold mine, and I have to agree.

I've been mining it since April and have been pleased with the performances of the creek critters if not the quality of the footage.

I first encountered the friendly foragers in a series of jpegs taken way down the ravine, and concluded their physical engagement was a fight.

Several weeks later I found footage of their shenanigans at another set and it was pretty clear they were getting physical in a friendly way.

No, not that. They were just playing, as you can see in the video. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Bully Skunk of the water hole

I can always count on a few clips of a local striped skunk at the water holes on the creek.

This man-skunk tanks up at the same place practically every night, which makes for rather boring viewing.

Let's face it, striped skunks have neither the flair of raccoons nor the charisma of bears.

But they are amusing when their noses get out of joint.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Bat strafes owl

It's not unusual for a bat to glean insects buzzing a mammal.

Occasionally fellow camera trappers in Minnesota photograph bats very close to deer covered with mosquitos, and it's obvious what the bats are doing.

What you see in this video clip however is a little odd.

The pools in this creek are swarming with insects, so there's no reason for the bat, probably a species of Myotis, to hit the owl in the head.

That is, unless something else is going on.

Could the bat be mobbing the owl, the way songbirds mob owls?

Or did it's radar fail?

This is the kind of footage that reinforces my obsession with camera trapping.

If you are curious about nature, get yourself a camera trap.

You'll learn a lot while you are having fun.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Bears vs. the Squeaker

More bears from the pools of the seasonal creek.

I thought the jury-rigged squeaker might lead to the design of an effective bear deterrent.

Watch the video and learn what I learned.

PS: Just back from a pleasant week with camera trappers at the Sierra Nevada Field Campus. More on that later.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A modest bear

I have had to forego the pleasures of the blogosphere for the past 2 months because other duties have called.

I am now getting back into the blogging groove and have been busy finishing off preparation for the camera trapping workshop, which is next week.

I've also been plowing through a huge backlog of video clips, and couldn't resist posting this little sequence to YouTube.

It's part of a recent camera trapping story and lessons learned from Mother Nature . . .  I'll cover it all in the workshop.