Monday, March 5, 2012

Camera Trap Study: Weeks #3 + #4

Before I dive into today's entry...if you're a visiting friend or family member or person who stumbled across my blog via the internets, and you are not a Google member, you can follow my blog via email. Enter your address in the above space.


Today, after 2 weeks of my cameras 'soaking', I returned to the field station to retrieve the images as well as re-scent each station with scent lure.

To get caught up on what this study is all about, check out: Results Week #1, and Results Week #2.

As I was approaching my transect, thoughts of glamorous animals went dancing through my head. I'm always CERTAIN everytime that I will get the trophy animal on record either with an image or video, or even better...both! I must divulge that I 'trapped' 5 new species of mammals on this round of data (plus the usual players), so I did pretty good!

It was old today- in the ' Wednesday the high is projected at reaching in the 60s...It'll be interesting to see the results again!

Before I go any further, a reminder of my basic gear:

Various scent lures (from L-->R): Caven's 'Gusto', Beaver Super All Call, Kaatz Bros Toxi-Dog, Beaver Lure Num-Chuck

  and (4) Cuddeback Attack IR cameras.

And my question I'm working toward answering:

 During the winter/spring 2012 seasonal change at the Muller Field Station (Canadice, NY),
what are the peak activity times for local mammals?

One last note before I reveal the results: this is a 2 week spread of pictures. I was unable to get to my cameras last Monday, and had a classmate go to the field station to "re-scent" each camera for me. SO for each camera I'll list two scents that visited the cameras. The break down is 2/20-27 and 2/27-3/5.

Camera A (Beaver Super All-Call/Num-Chuck):

Mystery critter. Any thoughts out there? I have an idea, but I want to see what fresh eyes see...

New species #1! Gray squirrel

New species #2! A mink in a beautiful 2x2 bound!

Camera B (Beaver Super All-Call/Num-Chuck):

Another new species (Although I'm not 'including' it- not a mammal!) Canada Goose.

Classmate Joe Varga hard at work! Thanks again, Joe :)

New mammal species #3: Domestic dog (Joe's family pet)

I'm including this picture to give a shout-out and THANKS to Nadia (and Daisy!) who has been helping me and offering moral support through this experience. That dog by the way is a Nova Scotia Duck Toller and the CUTEST little thing...awesome breed.

Camera C (Gusto/Toxi-Dog):


Red fox

New species #4! White-tailed deer

Gray squirrel

Camera D (Num-Chuck/Gusto):

Red fox


New species #5: Eastern cottontail! I had alot of pictures that I THOUGHT were ECs, but they were hard to make out. This one is the best, and I hope others agree with my ID.

A pair of WTD

A gorgeous daytime red fox picture...

I included this picture and the next to show this awesome size comparison between a red fox and a domestic dog puppy. Daisy, below, is a 6 month old/25lb little girl. The fox and she both got caught in the same spot and standing almost exactly alike.

It's neat to me to be able to compare. I've handled dogs, held them, played with them, so I have a good idea of what a dog's body is like. I have NO experience with handling red foxes, so I think these pics are pretty neat!

So 5 weeks in, with 4 weeks of data...I'm just about a third of the way through my study. I sat down with my advisor of the course, Clinton Krager, as well as my 'normal' advisor, John. Clinton threw all this "stuff" at me to think about and then had to leave for the I went and found John, who has always has advice for me. Whether it actually pertains to what I'm asking about, or just telling me to calm down and take a minute to reflect. What I'm currently struggling with is trying to decide how to organize my data as it's coming in..and then how to display it when I'm done. I have more questions that I need to ask, wait for the data to keep rolling in, and then sit down and really work in Excel for a bit to get it all in there. Any thoughts that anyone has about data manipulation, camera trapping, or what the heck that Mystery Critter is up there...I would love to hear it.

I'll end the post with a  few pictures of the adorable Daisy...I've loved this breed (Nova Scotia Duck Toller) since I worked at a dog kennel in high school...they're such a sweet breed! And gorgeous.

Mid sneeze...


  1. great captures once again. Do you guys have Fishers up your way?

  2. Jim- we have fisher few and far between. They may be making a comeback though, as one was caught for the first time in years last January '11 in a foot hold trap, and released. And then someone I'm close to at school tracked one last weekend in the heart of the Finger Lakes, very near to where the first one was caught. What are you thinking?

  3. Nice variety. Like the mink shot. I set one of my cameras along a small creek hoping to catch one but have been disappointed in the lack of activity.


Thank you for reading and wishing to leave a comment! Unfortunately, due to a high number of spam comments being left under the "Anonymous" heading, I had to disable that feature. You may still leave a comment with a Gmail account, or under the OpenID option! I welcome comments, suggestions, stories, and tall tales!