About Me

My photo
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, June 12, 2024

Snooping on Acorn Woodpeckers

Ever since the Paradise Fire in 2018 my neighbors and I have been cutting down trees to make our property more "fire-safe". Some of those trees contained cavities, which are often a limited commodity for hole-nesting birds and small mammals. My neighbor Ted and I rehabilitated a fallen nest cavity in December 2021. Getting a 20 lb chunk of log up into a tree is not a big deal if have a front-end loader and a master heavy equipment operator like Ted, and a camera trapper who isn't acrophobic, like yours truly. We bolted that nest hole log 16 feet up on a live oak tree and set a couple of trail cameras. After 3 years we had accumulated 2,221 video clips of animals. Acorn woodpeckers were the undisputed camera hogs, but there were cameo appearances by flying squirrels, western gray squirrels, and several species of birds. This video shows how the project got sidetracked, and gave me an excuse to snoop on woodpeckers using a homemade nest cavity with a built-in camera.

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Camera Curious Bears

At last a new video. I have wanted to make this movie for a long time. Ever since I started camera trapping here "on the ridge", black bears have toyed with my cameras. The clips have accumulated over the years. The film is a record of the ways bears have photo-bombed my videos.