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Mariton: Christmas Present

December 30, 2014

by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager

At Christmas, one of Mariton’s members donated a Game Camera.  If you aren’t familiar, these cameras are in housings to protect them from the elements.  They are triggered by a motion detector.  You attach the housing to a tree or something sturdy and download the memory card periodically.  Most use an infrared flash system to take photos at night.  The infrared doesn’t cause a “light” flash, so photos remain dark, but illuminate the subject within a given distance.  (See the raccoon photo below.)  There are lots of settings that relate to how often the camera can be triggered, etc.  These cameras don’t usually take high quality photos; but that isn’t their purpose.

 Racoons

I set it up the new camera in the Bird Blind at first to become familiar with its sensitivity and settings.  I captured hundreds of images of squirrels under the bird feeders.  Besides raccoons, I also captured a few of turkeys.  I like the photo below, notice that there is a Chickadee on the feeder.

Turkeys in Bird Blind

After I got a feel for how the camera worked I moved it to a game trail in the woods.  I captured some pictures of deer using the trail.  I like the comparison of these two photos because it shows two similar deer in similar locations on the trail at different times of day.

Deer on trail

Deer at night

Many might recall that member, Bob Koppenhaver, had a project with several game cameras set up at Mariton a few years back.  He collected over 70,000 images and put booklets of his game cam photos in the Nature Center.  He did presentations at the nature center of photos he had collected.  He analyzed information on the timing of events, along with moon phase, etc.  It was really quite interesting.

I don’t plan to go into the detail that Bob did for his project.  In fact, you probably won’t see a lot of game-cam photos on the Blog, unless I capture images of really interesting animals or behavior.

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