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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Jumping mouse jumps no more...

Great Blue Heron with bullhead
(Seneca Falls, NY 5/15)
I had a few camera traps set near water recently and captured a few images of one or more Great Blue Herons catching their dinners. Most of the images were fish, bullhead specifically. But one particular series caught my attention for two reasons. First, the heron caught a mammal and secondly, the images were recorded a mere 20 minutes before I pulled the camera. It was a reminder to me that timing is everything in camera trapping. Most camera trappers mitigate that concern by keeping as many cameras out as long as possible. But there is still the question of where to put them and when to move them. It makes the camera trapping game more interesting and active.
Great Blue Heron with jumping mouse sp.
(Seneca Falls, NY 5/15)
The GBH in these photos caught a jumping mouse. There are two species of jumping mice in NY (woodland and meadow) and both have that diagnostically long tail.

Another view. Here you can see the huge hind feet jumping mice use to 'jump'.
Jumping mouse caught by Great Blue Heron
(Seneca Falls, NY 5/15)
Last photo before the mouse becomes dinner:
Great Blue Heron preying on jumping mouse
(Seneca Falls, NY 5/15)
A shot with the mouse on its way down....

And its gone.

Woodland jumping mouse with white-tipped tail
(South Bristol, NY 5/11)
I cannot quite make out which species the heron ate. The photos were taken with an infrared flash so they are not in color and the distinguishing characteristic is small: the tail tip. If it is a white-tipped tail call it a woodland. If it lacks the white, call it a meadow.

Impressive hind feet of a woodland jumping mouse
(South Bristol, NY 5/11)
Woodland jumping mouse with ear tag
(South Bristol, NY 5/11)

1 comment:

  1. Now that's an impressive series of photos. Jumping mice are so seldom seen that to get a great blue actually eating one is a superb catch on a camera trap.

    Your comment on timing for camera traps brings up the question of how much a single camera trap misses. I've often set two cameras close to each other but aimed in slightly different directions -- it's amazing how often one will catch something that the other completely misses.


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