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Native Californian, biologist, wildlife conservation consultant, retired Smithsonian scientist, father of two daughters, grandfather of four. INTJ. Believes nature is infinitely more interesting than shopping malls. Born 100 years too late.

Thursday, July 4, 2024

Coyote Meets Camera

I hope you enjoy this video showing coyotes encountering trail cameras. You'll see they don't all act in the same way. Sometimes they don't see the camera, or at least they act like they don't see it. At other times their body language screams "get me out of here". As I edited and studied these clips I always thought there's more here than meets the eye. Deciphering behavior is an enlightening part of our addictive hobby. As our subjects ponder their camera encounters we have to wonder about their thoughts. Sometimes their actions tell us exactly how they feel.


brdpics said...

Super cool footage! I have noticed many coyotes looking at or flinching from my trail cams, esp. at night. I know you mentioned them seeing the IR in your movie- are there studies on this or are you going from the pretty tangible evidence from your camera trapping (which I see as well.) Other carnivores I've camera trapped really don't seem to have the same reaction now that I think about it- I can't recall a fox, bear, bobcat, or fisher etc. reacting like a coyote.

Glad to see another excellent episode from the CTC!!!

Camera Trap Codger said...

Thanks Bill. From what I gather they probably see the reddish IR glow that we see, as whitish light. Dogs are green-red color blind, but I can't find any studies of coyote vision. The reactions in many of those night clips was at the moment the camera started to record. If they are not looking in the direction of the camera they may not see it. The onset of the light coincides with a click of the IR cut switch, so there are two cues. In that one daylight clips where the coyote flinches at the sound of the cut switch, I had to cut and paste the end of the clip in front of the reaction. That's because iMovie's "fade transition" between clips covered up the flinch. This topic would make a nice masters research project, and might inform trail camera engineers . . . maybe.

Robert said...

Happy to see you back!Great footage!