Saturday, August 4, 2012


The biting flies have been horrendous at several of my study sites this year.  I'm typically mobbed by them every time I go out to check on my camera traps. 

You may imagine that if it's bad for us, it must be worse for resident wildlife that can't just jump in a vehicle to escape the swarms.

It should come as no surprise that they about loose their minds trying to keep these swarms at bay.

So...this is obviously a nuisance for these critters.

Now, imagine how it must impede their ability to sense danger.

Below is a video clip of a fawn at night....when the flies aren't as bad.  He or She is able to be on the alert for danger...ears swivelling....head up....always devoting attention to the search for potential threats.

Now, take a look at a fawn (perhaps the same fawn) at this site during the day.  Note that almost no time is spent scanning for predators, etc., as the flies are taking up most of of the fawn's energy and attention.

It's a rough world out there......


  1. Midges are the worst in Scotland. It's not so bad when you can keep on the move, but when I'm visiting cameras, changing cards et.c it's enough to bring on madness.

    I pray for days with wind which stops them from flying.

  2. I completely understand! When the mosquitoes are bad, the breeze really helps blow them away. These dang flies are too strong of fliers for a light breeze to blow them off unfortunately!

    Despite the unusually warm summer, I've grown a beard...because the flies have trouble getting through it. Between that and my hat...they can only get at my ears and arms (but it's easy to shoo them off of my arms as I can see them quicker!).