Monday, February 27, 2012

Riparian Walkers

I had almost forgotten about this camera set.  The pictures below were part of a monitoring project I ran on property owned by the North Carolina Zoo.  From February 2010 to July 2011, we conducted a vertebrate invenotry on this property, which included drift fences and coverboards for small vertebrates, radio telemetry on Eastern Box Turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina) and, of course, camera traps for the big guys.

The camera that took most of the pictures below was placed along a nice riparian corridor for a few months during this period (Feb 17 to April 19, 2011) to see who was hanging around.  This was one of several cameras  deployed at various locations throughout the property.  Unfortunately, most of our camera trap captures on the site were of White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus).

The Riparian corridor provided our best variety.  It also represents my only venture into the realm of ScoutGuard cameras.  I can't even remember what model it was (the SG550?).  Anyways, I have to admit that I was at first very impressed....but this waned after a series of malfunctions, returns and straight-up inconveniences on the part of the camera (including an external remote..which you had to bring into the field with you and plug into the camera to program it).

Anyhoo....some neat pictures were captured near this heavily wooded stream crossing.

A juvenile Red-Shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) flew down to the stream on back-to-back days for a drink?  Trying to grab a frog?  With alittle help from my buddy Bill over at The Future Of Birds, I was able to definitively identify this species!  They like woodlands associated with water, so it makes sense to see them here.
Above: Find the Buteo!  See the lower left-hand corner of the pic....

Above: Find the Buteo II!  In the background, standing in the water again.

The red-shouldered was by far the most unique thing captured by this camera.  Although, there were some neat pics of Racoons (Procyon lotor) wading around for frogs and fish.

And, of course, what series of pictures from a set in North Carolina would be complete without White-tailed Deer?  I quite liked the one below....with the reflection on the water......

Was also neat to get a shot of an American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) coming down for a sip.....

Throw in a ubiquitous Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis).......

...and a feral puddy tat....

...and that about 'rounds it out for this camera set (and, in fact, for the site).  Although we did get pics of two other species from other locations at this site, they weren't some of the riparian walkers.

There were a few precious shots of "talking dogs" (Canis latrans).....

...also one lonely Gray Fox photo (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) at a scent station..... long as I'm posting pics of feral puddy tats.....I might as well show a 'coon hound, that had to belong to a tresspassing hunter.  He stopped by for a sniff at the scent station I put out at this spot.  Although there are stray dogs on-site, there's no way that a stray has a reflective collar with a GPS unit strapped to his neck......


  1. Is that last picture of 'talking dogs' really a coyote? Looks alot like a gray fox to my novice eye!

  2. Hi Alyssa,

    Well, there are three pics of 'yotes in a row. Immediately after that is a picture of a Gray Fox, and is labeled as such.

    If you're referring to that last 'yote pic (i.e., the third pic): you can compare the size of the animal in that picture against the animal in the fourth picture, which is a gray fox (both were taken at the same camera set). Also, although you can't see the fox's tail above, they typically have proportionally longer tails relative to their body length than do Coyotes...and you'll notice the critter in that third picture has a fairly short tail.

    Hope that clears it up!

    Nice job on the bear den post recently!

    1. TB- oops..didn't see the label above the picture. You know what you're talking about, I don't! :) And thanks- the bear den was too cool, hard to convey that experience accurately through a blog!

  3. That first coyote pick in black and white looks like the CA wolf pic a bit. Obviously a coyote but still cool. Are you far enough north to run into wolves at all?

  4. Hey JK!

    These pics were from NC, so no gray wolves...BUT...NC does have the Red Wolf. However, they are found mostly in the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge which was quite a ways to the southeast of our study site.

    The Zoo that we were working on does have Red Wolves on display...maybe it was an escapee :)

    1. Oh yeah duh? I was thinking Wisconsin, even though you clearly stated right in the post they were from NC.