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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.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Autumn Adventures: F Raccoons, New Birds & The Cinco

Autumn 2017 will be a time etched in the memories of Bay Area residents. The raging inferno across the North Bay and its voluminous smoke trail were a sobering moment of reflection, with a fresh appreciation for time and all that one has, materially and in the community. On a personal level, a little mammal was also welcomed into the world the first week of October and has blown the collective mind at home.

That appreciation of time is truly been a focus personally and when it comes to adventures outdoors, they are primaily in the realm of work with my students. They continue to put in the effort with the river otter study, which has reaped unique results.

New (expected, but never captured) mammals have been present in our sets with glimpses of a coyote and the invasive muskrat.

Several new species of birds have shown up -- some of them the more secretive sort that we don't often see during field visits -- offering opportunities to discuss a variety of organisms and their behaviors.

I think this is the year I finally got the Hutton's Vireo/RC-Kinglet distinction down (sof course, omebody will say this is actually a Hutton's)

After a down year in 2016, the otters have been reliably present and pretty consistently in a pack of 5. The Cinco, as they have been dubbed by my students -- possibly due to slight adjustments in camera placement -- have been on our cameras with a much greater frequency this past autumn and now into winter. During a two week stretch around Thanksgiving we had 29 unique visits - a new benchmark by a hefty margin.

For every success, we must recognize our failures...which will be entirely blamed on raccoons.

Rascals or Assholes?

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Soooooooooooooong Sparrow

So its 2018 and I am going to try and post again this year. I have had trouble making the time to post the last couple of years, and although I don't have more time, I am going to try and up the blogging. Not sure how many people, if any, still read this thing, but it is a better format than Instagram and Twitter (I don't Facebook) for sharing photos and a few thoughts. So we'll see if anyone if still out there in the wildlife biology blogosphere.

Yesterday, I headed out to the bayside trail along the public part of the Facebook campus to see if I could find the Harris's sparrow that was first reported by Don Pendleton on December 12, 2017.

Spoiler alert: I dipped.

But I did see/hear 4 Song Sparrows, including this one. I am not good enough to know for sure that this is a juvenile, but it looked a bit awkward and skinny and kinda sucked at singing so it felt very much like teenager to me. Other calls in the area were much sweeter than this dude's.



In the middle of a Sunny Day Real Estate cover


Hey, I didn't claim that blog posts were going to be good or epic or anything, just that they should exist in larger numbers.

Quantity over quality in 2018.