Good Water MN Bucket Cam

This weekend I put out a new device which is essentially a bucket camera. It is intended to "try" to document the many Rats and Mice that we often see on our trail cameras, which have a greater focal plane distance, and is really insufficient for such a small creature.
When I returned the previously loaned TPWD cameras back to Dr. Tania Homayoun, I mentioned that we were leaving a lot of those out there as non-ID-able observations. She then sent me a document in which some biologists from Florida had built a device for such a purpose. It involved a custom made professional camera and a modified 7 gallon bucket.
Our Good Water chapter procured such a camera with a focal length set at 40 cm. The bucket has two, 1 and 3/4 diameter holes cut in near the lid. The lid has fixed cup containers for seeds which are set back far enough from the openings to eliminate raccoons from successfully disturbing. There are black scales with white numbering also fixed to the lid. The bucket is placed lid down with the camera mounted on the bottom (up). Another partial bucket bottom covers the camera for protection and security. The whole assembly is staked down and clamped in place.

The cups were filled with sunflower seeds and there is also a suet/peanut butter Popsicle wrapped in open mesh gauze. The seeds were pretty much consumed in the first 24 hours leaving the suet for the last. It was intended to possibly force teeth exposure, which could aide in identification.
After two full days there were over 3000 files to wade through which were dark and needed lightening. There were 800 videos included in that. I did re-bait and reset the camera, but I will probably move to another location in the area soon. Prairie, Near creeks, Seeps etc.
I do not know anything about the different species, just making an effort. Would appreciate any suggestions and thoughts. @neotomastolemykeys @pfau_tarleton
Even if this is not successful, the camera has already proven it's value away from the bucket.
Thanks
Mike Farley
Good Water Master Naturalist

Posted on 05 April, 2020 20:18 by mikef451 mikef451

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Muroids (Superfamily Muroidea)

Observer

mikef451

Date

April 2020

Place

Texas, US (Google, OSM)

Description

Mice and Rats
Woodland area
Williamson, Co
4/4/20

Photos / Sounds

What

Mice, Rats, and Hamsters (Suborder Myomorpha)

Observer

mikef451

Date

April 2020

Place

Texas, US (Google, OSM)

Description

Mice and Rats
Woodland area
Williamson, Co
4/4/20

Photos / Sounds

What

Mice, Rats, and Hamsters (Suborder Myomorpha)

Observer

mikef451

Date

April 2020

Place

Texas, US (Google, OSM)

Description

Mice and Rats
Woodland area
Williamson, Co
4/4/20

Photos / Sounds

What

Mice, Rats, and Hamsters (Suborder Myomorpha)

Observer

mikef451

Date

April 2020

Place

Texas, US (Google, OSM)

Description

Mice and Rats
Woodland area
Williamson, Co
4/4/20

Photos / Sounds

What

Murines (Subfamily Murinae)

Observer

mikef451

Date

April 2020

Place

Texas, US (Google, OSM)

Description

Mice and Rats
Woodland area
Williamson, Co
4/4/20

Photos / Sounds

What

Hispid Cotton Rat (Sigmodon hispidus)

Observer

mikef451

Date

April 2020

Place

Texas, US (Google, OSM)

Description

Mice and Rats
Woodland area
Williamson, Co
4/5/20

Comments

I think it's really cool! The smaller ones are probably Peromyscus, and the larger one Sigmodon. I'm supposed to be a mammalogist by training, but I've never been very good at IDing rodents by photo--without being able to "tumble" them in hand it's hard to see the distinguishing features.

Posted by pfau_tarleton almost 4 years ago

Thanks for the mention @mikef451 . I'll second Russell's IDs, and thoughts about having the animal in-hand. That being said, the view does give a good look at the relative tail length on the smaller mouse, likely a Peromyscus. I'm curious how some of the markings that are visible in natual light may show up on the IR/low light camera. I'll take a look and see if I can make some suggestions.

Once all of this quarantine business gets finished, I've got a bunch of sherman live traps, I'm in central austin and would be happy to try out a few and maybe have a chance to look at some of these in-hand. Just let me know if you're interested.

Posted by neotomastolemykeys almost 4 years ago

Echo'ing how great this is. :)

Posted by sambiology almost 4 years ago

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