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This blog is predominately about camera trapping in California. We camera trap to save our souls and to teach primary school students about biology and conservation. We will also touch on other camera trapping news and musings, sets from afar, mediocre herpetology, sucky birding, and other natural history discussions.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Trail of Two Cameras pt. 2

(Resuming the examination of a coastal fir scrub trail where two cameras have been positioned to essentially face themselves.)

Previously, I touched on an advantage of setting one Bushnell on video versus still shots. The ability to get full body shots of medium sized mammals and extra behaviour information is a key difference, especially for use in my classroom.

A further review of the data exhibits more differences in the two cameras.
First, the data itself:

The video camera fired at 40% of the still camera's total. It follows a similar percentage for animal shots, though jumps up to 58% in the visit comparison and 55% in total species. This data, however, is clouded by the fact there were a significant number of shots at the still camera with an unidentifiable animal due to blurring.

So what do we have? More photos, more species, more visits with the still camera.

Okay, but tell me what the video is exactly missing?

With the video camera located higher up on the trail slope, smaller critters that roam at the base, near the still camera, do not register.

The area near the still camera is also more dense with trees and brush; the trail becomes narrow. The opposite holds true for the video camera. The expansion of open space could be a death trap for birds and small rodents.

The still camera option and location provides an excellent choice for species surveys, collecting across the size spectrum.
The video camera option and location offers a higher percentage of medium and large mammals with the opportunity for interesting behaviour notes.

Black-tailed Deer 11.15.10


  1. Good work, and glad to see the scientific approach. I'll post something on rodent videography in the next week or two. Meanwhile have a Merry Xmas.

  2. Thanks and looking forward to those posts, Codge. Hope you had a good Xmas!