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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.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Bite It

The forces of Camera Trapping Campus met up in late December, this time down south at Younger Lagoon. I was to set up a Bushnell Trophy cam, joining Jake's cam on the High Plateau.

The location of this set was a marshy area that was loaded with prints of raccoon, bobcat and deer.

One month later, a camera check. Upon entrance to the reserve, we were greeted by a fine CALIFORNIA THRASHER. We took this as a good omen.

California Thrasher
Toxostoma redivivum

The camera appeared quite abused -- muddy from the winter storms and without the plastic covering for the IR flash. A quick search turned up the missing piece and its own damage.

The excitement was soaring, the files could not download fast enough!

Initial photos were full of raccoons and ghostly B/W blank shots.

146 photos in, it appeared.

the best shot of the culprit

What could have caused the coyote to maul the camera? Certainly not the flash, for that is infrared. Perhaps the overwhelming stimuli caused by a scent?

Later, our mangy friend stopped by for a noble portrait. Or was it his mugshot?

Our mangy friend


  1. Cool. Never seen a coyote do that before. You've had a unique experience.

  2. What was the plastic covering from? Anything the Coyote might consider appetizing?

  3. Bay Laurel: not unless coyotes consider IR flashes tasty.

  4. I believe that particular piece of plastic came from a milk carton.

    I have a hunch that some Fox Frenzy scent found its way on to the covering...