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Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Secret Life of Walter Woodchuck


Last spring, I set a Cuddeback Attack on a woodchuck hole in the backyard. This year, I put a Reconyx on the same hole. The Reconyx is relatively new to me, so I have it set to take a burst of three photos then almost immediately take another burst, etc.etc as long as an animal is there to trigger the shutter. This is both a blessing and a curse. The GOOD news is I feel as if I am missing nothing. Aside from the multiple photos, the Reconyx seems to have a wider cone of detection than the Cuddebacks. The BAD news is I have become quickly overwhelmed with data. And these thousands of images are coming at the busiest time of the semester for me.
So here is my solution: Instead of half a dozen detailed posts, how about one long one with a ton of cool things that have been happening with my woodchuck? Fair enough?

Where to begin? 

Bedding material: In my last post I also wrote about woodchucks and specifically this behavior. I still do not know if this is a female making a bed for her young or a woodchuck just gathering material for its own bed.
Woodchuck with bedding material

 Last year, I created a whole video of visitors to the woodchuck burrow which you can view here. This year saw some interesting characters as well including:

Eastern Cottontail
Blue Jay
WHOA! Look at that photo above again. I have obtained many bird photos with the Reconyx that would have been missed by the Cuddeback. Occasionally, the trigger speed can't keep up with the movement though :)

A final visitor couldn't resist rubbing on the scent mark left by the woodchuck.
Feral cat
That little tree is Walter Woodchuck's favorite marking location. Not his ONLY location, but his favorite:
Woodchuck rubbing on tree
I don't believe I have ever used the word "adorable" in a blog entry yet, but perhaps I should give it a try to describe that photo above...

Walter loves that tree so much he even climbs it:

As I mentioned, Walter leaves scent on other places:

 Besides scent marking, Walter likes to stretch. A stretch often leads to a yawn. Observe: 

Now for a series of three...

Well, what happens when Walter STARTS to scent mark but then gets the urge to stretch?

Scent mark? Nope! Gotta stretch..

Woodchuck grooming

Finally, Walter spends a fair amount of time grooming. Although the individual photos are fun to look at, I have taken the series of stills and strung them together for a nice stop action style video. I think its worth the watch: Woodchuck in the sun

I have moved the camera. I am concentrating on other squirrel species now. But I think I will have to revisit Walter later in the season and see what other secrets I can uncover...

1 comment:

  1. Love the yawning. Love the stretching. Love the tree-huggin. I love Walter!


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