Tuesday, November 11, 2014

'Tis the Season

The fall rut has started in Fairfax and Loudoun Counties in Virginia.  What this means is that the deer are biologically ready to start mating and bucks are chasing does all day long.

What this also means is that deer are moving around a hell of a lot, and are getting creamed on the roads.  This deer was (at least I presume) hit by a car and dropped dead.  Of course I did the only thing I could think of, and put a camera-trap up to it.

Foxes, raccoons, and possums picked at it at night, and birds had their way with the meat during the day.

I really enjoy looking at images of hawks that scavenge on the dead deer, and was lucky enough to get images of them during this camera-trap stakeout.

Ignore those time/date stamps.  I forgot to set them correctly.


Hawks can scavenge on carcasses during anytime of the year, but on my cameras, the show up a lot more on deer carcasses during the winter than on deer carcasses of the hot months.

'Tis the season for deer carcass cameras, birding, hunting, the deer rut, and winter sports.  We're in for it until April, folks.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Unique Squirrel

First off, I'd like to thank friend Nelson for sharing the picture below with me and for agreeing to have it posted on my blog.  I always enjoy when friends ask me about local wildlife.

This squirrel is unlike any squirrel I have ever seen before.  The above image was taken in McLean, Virginia.  From what I can tell, it is a gray squirrel that is in a black phase or morph.

Gray squirrels are very common here in Virginia.  Gray squirrels that are black only make up a small percentage of the gray squirrel population.  This one however, is very different because of the white-tipped tail.  Have you ever seen anything like this?

Hopefully it sticks around for more pictures.

Thanks for sharing Nelson!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Alyssa's Alligator Video

Fellow wildlife blogger and camera-trap inspiration, Alyssa Johnson captured one amazing video a few days ago.

Whether it was being in the right place at the right time, her wildlife expertise, or just dumb luck, she captured a video of a domestic cat looking very curious towards a body of water.  An alligator jumps out of the water to attack the cat.

It's videos like this that inspired me to even getting into camera-trapping on a large-scale.

She calls it the "Best camera trap video of all time", and I can personally confirm that it is nothing less than that.

It's crazy.  Give her blog a view, give the video a view, and leave a comment.

See it here:   Alyssa's Alligator Video

All work, images, and video are of Alyssa Johnson.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

"10 Point"

I commonly give nicknames to wildlife.  I've been told not to do this for the point of becoming attached to a specific individual and also because I'll most likely see their dead bodies splattered on the paved roads of Northern Virginia, but hey, nicknames make wildlife viewing a bit more exciting.

"White Legs", "Scarface",  and "1 Stripe" are just a few of the nicknames given to individual animals that either come up on trail cameras or are commonly seen by coworkers in my parks and wildlife jobs.

Here's another one for everyone that's been called  "10 Point".  10 Point is an impressive male, white-tailed deer.  It's easy to identify him because of his impressive rack that contains 10 tines.

Who knows whether or not he'll make it to the end of Northern Virginia's extensive hunting seasons.

Bear Broken Camera

It's always a fight against the black bears when you've got cameras in the woods.

They get a lot more curious then some other animals, and their natural curiosity can be a problem.

This camera was torn down and ripped apart by a black bear.  Its casing was broken, the screen cracked, and batteries torn out.

All that was left at the scene was a single, decent bear print, and leaves thrown all over where the bear sat around or dug up something to eat.

Friday, September 19, 2014


Due to an incredible amount of camera-trap theft, I've lost an even more amount of data and images this year.  The thing is, is that hunting season has started in most of the counties where I camera-trap, and the woods have a whole different kind of visitor.  I've also taken a lot of cameras down to prevent them from getting stolen.

Don't worry though, I'm back to blogging right now and am carefully planning on where I am going to put out more cameras.

In the meantime, here are a few images of hummingbirds that were caught on a GoPro camera trap that I put up a few weeks ago.

I like the versatility of the GoPro cameras for my wildlife surveys and of course, just for fun.  I haven't perfected the quality control and everything of them yet, but I'm getting there.

Hopefully the next blog post will be of more camera-trap images.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Flying Squirrel?

Some people are surprised to learn that Fairfax and Loudoun Counties are home to flying squirrels.  We have TONS of them around, but to see one, you have to be in the right place at the right time in the night. They are strictly nocturnal and should not show themselves often in the daytime.

I recently came upon this image while checking on of my camera-traps.  It's in Fairfax County, VA and the time and date stamp are correct.  The image below the one containing the mystery critter is a "blank" image that does not contain any animal.  This is included so you can better tell the parts of the animal awhile comparing it to the "blank" image.

What do you think?  Is that a flying squirrel that got a bit blurry?  Is it a moth, bat, insect on the lens, a leaf falling, or a bird?  I think I know what it is, but need some other opinions to convince me.