Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mice on the runway

Well, I lasted 2 days before I had to see if a mouse used the trail. Sometimes it's better to check a new setup and how it worked before waiting a week and finding out that the focus or flash was not correct for a close picture.
I used a Sony P41 and an XLP board for this situation as the XLP is great for close pictures and is very fast to trigger the camera. The focus was set for .5 meters, and the distance was 18 inches to the trail which worked out fine, the flash was set on low and I used a large card in the camera. I learned that mice are fast in a distance of 20 inches, which is the field of view for the P41 at a distance of 18 inches. I ended up with 4 pictures of mice out of 49 total photos, which is fine with me without using any bait.
Now for the interesting part, as I believe there are several different species of mice. Identification of mice is certainly not my field of expertice, so a little help is needed. Do different kinds of mice live together and use the same trail?
I had to crop the first photo even though is was close but I think it is a deer mouse or kangaroo mouse, the second might be the same, but the last apears to be some type of shrew.
Edit: I was close but no cigar today. Camera Trap Codger identified all photo is a deer mouse....middle is a shrew... and the bottom is a meadow mouse. The Codger is a master in animal identification.


At 8:16 AM, Blogger Camera Trap Codger said...

Nice haul, Cliff. You have a deer mouse in the top picture (Peromyscus), a shrew (Sorex) in the middle, and a meadow mouse (Microtus) in the last picture. Sooner or later you'd get a weasel, since they hunt in mouse runways. BTW, the meadow mice are the ones that make those runways, and you can usually find plant cuttings there.

At 12:59 PM, Blogger cliff said...

Thanks for the identification of the different mice. I was close and can't believe I made the mistake between the shrew and the meadow mouse, the difference is quite apparent with the shape of the head.

My wife wants me to build a small bridge for them to walk over. Maybe even something to jump over.

I did notice that the daytime photos were the ones where the mice went too fast for the camera and that nightime is safer for them to travel. Will work on that problem so I can get daylight pictures.

At 7:39 AM, Blogger OregonWild said...

Superb work Cliff, and I am envious of the Shrew photo. I believe that shrews use a crude form of echolocation when moving at night.

Obviously your system is lightning fast...

At 7:51 AM, Anonymous Deer Tracking Cameras said...

That P41 and XLP board looks like a great combination that I need to investigate. The picture clarity is superb in comparison to any of my store-bought game cameras. Nice work!


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