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, October 5, 2020

Tree-climbing camera inspector

For three years I've photo-captured bears climbing this rubbing tree. It 's about 14 inches in diameter and leans a bit. Cubs zip up and down the trunk, even on the underside, and adults occasionally tackle it too. It was a tree made for an arboreal camera trap, and promised a head-on view of a bear shimmying closer to the camera.       

After hauling my aluminum extension ladder to the site in two pieces, I bolted two cameras on a 1" pipe lag-screwed to the tree with a threaded flange. With neighbor Ted passing the tools to and fro the installation wasn't life threatening.  Here's a bear's eye view as seen from near the base.  The cameras (a Browning and a GoPro) are 11.5' from the base and a vertical drop of 12'.

I used to fit arboreal cameras with bungee cords. If an overly curious bear ripped a camera loose, the bungee would prevent a crash landing. Mischievous bears might play with a dangling camera, and could bite through the bungee cord, but a bungee could save the camera.  Nowadays I  believe most bears are loath to lose their grip while batting at a camera.   

Bears visited the site 18 times, but only three looked up at the camera, and only the camera inspector climbed the tree. 

To see the video copy this link https://vimeo.com/463652759 and paste it in your finder.   

1 comment:

Chas S. Clifton said...

Nice bear video! I have missed seeing your photos.