Friday, November 2, 2012

The Masked Bandit: A Robbery

For the story of this setup, check out the
 Backyard Camera Trapping entry I wrote last week...
I love camera trapping. I use these cameras in my backyard just to see who is moving around and when. It’s been a lot of fun, almost addicting. I get more and more creative when setting out my camera, to try and guarantee pictures, instead of capturing something just randomly walking by my camera.

Last week I set up a tree I’m calling the “fish tree”, for good reason. Several readers (on the Times Union "Discovering Wildlife" blog I write, commented that nailing the fish to the tree is dangerous for critters checking it out. I agree, and hadn’t really thought it through. I haven’t had time to fix it yet by rigging the fish up with a cable or wire, but when I checked my camera this morning, I realized I didn’t have to. I was thieved!!! My brilliant plan of NAILING the fish to the tree, so it couldn’t be stolen, was thwarted by the masked bandit.

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. Be sure to watch the time stamps!

Mr. or Mrs. Raccoon scoping the scene out...

Snarfle, snarfle (this is a term I came up for what my dog does in the leaves, I think it applies here too!)

Snarfle, snarfle.

Notice anything? Well, besides the gray squirrel and that it's now daytime...THE FISH IS GONE!
And he or she is back. Perhaps to clean up the scraps? To see if the tree grew another brook trout?

Sorry friend, no more treats for you.

I suppose I’m making a few assumptions here: that the raccoon stole the fish, and the camera just didn’t get the images (FRUSTRATING, this camera is a lemon, I swear), AND that the gray squirrel DIDN’T take the fish. But perhaps Ricky Raccoon didn’t take it, and something else (a fisher???) snuck in and swiped it. Or the squirrel did, but that’d be weird. Grays typically aren’t meat eaters, although FLYING squirrels are! Or perhaps these guys did it:

American Crows, back again.

I’ll never know. But when I reset this “set” up, I will be hanging the fish, so there won’t be opportunity for a raccoon or other small-medium animal to take it, but hopefully just be lured in by its *delicious* scent!

1 comment:

  1. Yeah....Cuddebacks can be alittle tricky. I've found their cone of detection is very narrow, and the critter often has to be smack-dab in the middle of the camera's field of view to get snapped. If something came in from behind your bait tree, at just the right angle, and went up the tree....the Cudde could very well miss it.


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