Sunday, January 20, 2013

Fisher-cat frenzy

I've been holding off on sharing these pictures, because I have a long, lengthy entry to go with them. I haven't had the time, and it'll especially be tough now that my semester starts back up tomorrow.

I posted this image on my blog at the Albany Times Union:
Discovering wildlife.
I received interesting feedback from the public!
But, I can't hold back anymore! SO I'll do a preview show!

While I was away from Schoharie, the town where I live for school, I left my Cuddeback Attack set up in my backyard for 4 weeks unattended. I will admit, I did bait the camera set. My roommate works at a fancy European restaurant and gave me a bunch of chicken and turkey scraps. There was some meat, but a lot of gristle and bits that people wouldn't be keen on.

I FINALLY got rewarded with 12 pictures of fisher (Martes pennanti). My jaw dropped because: fisher are very wary and secretive AND I have a flash camera and I had assumed that the flash would deter them from coming back. Wrong!

So I posted that picture above and implored the readers of that blog to play along with me and take some guesses. I provided them with a link to the list of accepted NYS mammals on our Department of Environmental Conservation website, and I gave them the following 5 clues:

1. This animal is a mammal.
2. This animal has 5 toes on the front and back feet.
3. This animal is considered a “fur-bearing” species.
4. This animal is very difficult to observe in the wild.
5. This animal is sometimes called a confusing name, which can allude that it’s related to a very common household pet.

I didn't know the experience (with wildlife) level, or interest level of my readership. Or, haha, if I had a readership. But, I was pleasantly surprised with a bunch of comments of guesses and HIGH blog hits. Last Wednesday (1/16) I had 747 hits that day, and the most popular entry was the one concerning my "mystery" critter.

So here are a few of my fisher pictures. I'm not giving them all away just yet, because I do have an interesting entry in the works!


I'm so thrilled! Fisher are a big-time "win" for me. Especially the great pictures and multiple shots that I got! The pictures do look a little fuzzy because, if you've been a reader for the past few months you'll know this, I partially cover the flash with black electrical tape because I've found it's way too bright for close range pictures. And I like the distance of the fisher from the camera here. They're nicely centered and framed. I did remove one piece of tape though, and got the following picture of an Eastern cottontail, and the quality is greatly improved.

Eastern cottontail in Schoharie, NY

So that's all for now. I hope to piece together the rest of my fisher post(s) and share them.


  1. A mystery is always good fun, lovely shots, waiting for the next episode!!! Cheers from jean

    1. Hi Jean! Haven't heard from you in a bit, hope all is well in NZ!

  2. You've got some incredible pictures!
    What kind of terrain is the location of this picture? Mountainous? Near a creek or spring bank that the fisher would use as a pathway?

    1. Thank you Brian!

      I live in a very..."mountainous" area. I don't know what the true definition of mountain IS, I don't live near 4,000' peaks, but we do have 1,000-1,500 feet in elevation changes. A lot of glacial carving. Mixed forests. Probably very similar to Northern VA. Fisher actually, contrary to their name, do not rely on water like cousin Otter and Mink do. As otter and mink are often referred to as semi-aquatic mammals, I've heard fisher referred to as an arboreal (tree-dwelling) mammal, like it's other cousin, Marten!

    2. Yeah that's similar terrain to where I live but a little lower and no glacial terrain. Thanks for the info!

  3. Those are very nice pictures. It brings back a memory of when I was hunting from a tree stand and was fortunate enough to watch one follow this stream I was sitting over for quite sometime until it noticed I was there. They really are a beautiful animal.

    1. Thanks Rick. I agree, they are beautiful and mysterious... love getting pics of them!


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