Friday, December 20, 2013

Black Bear Marking

I made the set in late fall and this video was taken just before the first snowfall. This back bear stopped by to leave his scent on this marking tree in norther N.H. Encounters between black bears and my remote cameras like this one have become all too familiar. Now that the bears are sleeping for the winter I'm enjoying a grace period of filming without my cameras being eaten or tipped over..but it's shots like this that makes me miss them.

Black bear climbing a pine from Peter Abdu on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Moose Surprise

Turn up the Volume for this video:

Moose Surprise from Peter Abdu on Vimeo.

A quick one minute clip of a bull moose checking out the set. Now that the bears are asleep I thought my cameras were safe...I Should've known better. Often the bull moose will do some serious damage during the rut but this young bull was relatively gentle with the camera set and thankfully left everything in working order. This set was not designed for filming moose, and hence the moose is mostly out of frame. I still enjoyed listening to him investigate the area.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Northern Bobcat

These are a few of my favorite shots from this summer in Northern N.H. A lot of activity at this set with plenty of black bears, porcupines, deer, and bobcat.  These pictures were taken at 10:11am and 8:21pm.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Young Beaver on the Dam

Beaver crossing from Peter Abdu on Vimeo.

Here's a quick video I shot last week while filming the north American Beaver (Castor canadensis). The more time I spend in the woods the more I've gravitated to beaver ponds. I've come to sincerely appreciate these ecosystem engineers and it's always easy to find a great set of tracks in the mud.

If you turn the volume up you will notice a chirp near the end of the clip (~14 seconds). Also note that at the end of the clip the beavers were trying to move the camera. I have 10 minutes worth of video in which multiple beavers try to work the camera free. Beavers certainly are determined and well adapted mammals, but ultimately it was the curiosity of a black bear cub that did this camera in.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Cautious Doe

      This whitetail doe showed a bit of caution when approaching the camera. In my experience, wildlife showing caution can depend on a number of factors. To name just a few: season, number of animals present, time of day, size and health of the animal, and status within the species. Some species such as black bears and moose always examine the camera. Often the bears force the camera off the tree while the moose being less dexterous leave me dozens of foggy pictures with the whiskers pressed up against the lens.
        In some of my remote camera sets located within heavily hunted areas during the hunting season, wildlife will not tolerate a camera flash,. In the same locations out of hunting season the same animals will remain relaxed in front of the camera. Video units can be particularly helpful in providing insight into behavior....and, with a little luck, I should be able to provide some footage to show exactly that for the next post.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Bears and more Bears

I've been experimenting with a new IR camera I recently built. Since the camera is viewing the full spectrum of light, the colors are slightly off as there is no longer an IR filter on the glass inside the camera. Thus far I haven't noticed any difference in wildlife behavior compared to the white flash units I normally use. These are a few pictures from one spot in northern N.H. It was close to a bog and the black bear traffic was incredible to watch. At least 6 different bears visited this location in a 19 day period. Some spent time feeding in the blueberry patch directly in front of the camera or trying get pry the camera off the tree.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Bobcat Marking

     The camera was placed with the hopes of capturing a Canadian lynx (Lynx canadensis) , but it's close cousin the bobcat (Lynx rufus) was the only feline that showed up during the 35 days this camera was set. This picture leads me to believe this cat is marking the trial over other feline scent. This photograph is a great example of why  its important to catalog and record all procedures and variables for each camera set-something that will enable the photographer to better understand a vast amount of biological information such as what animals visit each area, why certain species are more abundant in specific locations, and how animals react to outside stimuli such as scents, visual attracters, audio calls, etc .

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Fox Den

        A couple posts ago I talked about my attempts to find a fox den. I'll let the pictures do the talking, but after many many more woodchuck dens I finally found what I was looking for. This wouldn't have been possible without the generous help of a landowner who allowed me to place cameras on his property.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Fisher in the Log

Fisher cat in Log from Peter Abdu on Vimeo.

I was expecting some activity further down the log (which I did get later on), and thus had directed my lighting to this area. This Fisher decided to change it up and I got a few shots of him zipping around and into the log but Would have liked to focused the light on the log opening next time.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Woodchucked out

      I was hoping for a fox in this den but I'm quickly finding out just how many woodchucks have "taken over" the local area. Red fox often inhabit old woodchuck dens on slopes, which provide good drainage. The fox often enlarge the opening of the hole to get a quick start if they need one. The red fox dens I have found in the past usually have a strong skunk smell-something this den was missing-but I hope to have some fox pictures in the next week with my efforts directed at new potential fox dens nearby. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Toad Close Up

Took this photo today and couldn't help but enjoy the eyes on this toad. Even something as simple as a toad can be interesting if viewed through the right perspective (Click on the picture to enlarge).

Monday, May 13, 2013

Another N.H. Bobcat

As the snow faded, I caught this bobcat walking through southern New Hampshire one lonely evening in late April. While bobcats do appear on my remote cameras with some frequency, they are rarely if ever seen, and pictures like this are always a pleasant surprise. I'm certain this cat is roaming the woods at this very moment, in search of its next meal.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Vulture Stretch

New Project 4 from Peter Abdu on Vimeo.

A quick video of a vulture stretching before taking off. It's easy to forget how large their wingspan is, as they are so often soaring far overhead. I was hoping for a coyote pack here but struck out after 2 weeks of filming. I was testing my video unit here while figuring out the final bugs and now it's on to some serious filming. This is yet another example of wildlife that is seemingly predictable and just when you think you have them figured out, something changes. Maybe thats what I enjoy most about wildlife, one way or another, it's always a surprise.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Beaver under the Ice

I'm moving towards the video world for the best method of capturing animal ecology and thought I would release a few clips from the first night my camera was deployed. While the final system is relatively simple, it's taken hundreds of hours of research, experimenting, and building to get to this point. I still have a bit of work to do to get this system exactly how I want it, but I finally have built the technology that will allow me to film wildlife, day or night, and record it at the highest possible quality. This beaver walks right over the microphone while dragging food back under the ice:

Beaver1 from Peter Abdu on Vimeo.

Despite all activity occurring at night, this beaver was completely relaxed and even curious.

Beaver2 from Peter Abdu on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

How much we miss

        I was working out of Cape Cod for the last week and on a whim decided to throw a camera out. Not 15 minutes after the camera was set this coyote showed up. I'm sure he was well aware of my presence and was likely watching me during my walk. I would have had no idea without this camera. Simply amazing to consider how many wildlife interactions are missed while we tromp around in the woods.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Red Fox

     A fox stopped by to check out the activity at this scratch post (normally reserved for bobcats). Besides squirrels and bobcats, this was one of the few animals to check out this set. Foxes often show up at many of my sets with surprising abundance. It's hard to say if my frequency of fox pictures is the result of a high density of foxes, species characteristics such as large home ranges, simple curiosity, or the desire to capitalize on a free meal. One thing is for sure: foxes, both grey and red, cover a large geographic range and are extremely successful in a variety of habitats.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Canadian Lynx Kittens in N.H.

      This photo, one of a series, was taken in late November of 2012 is among the first to show not just Canadian lynx in New Hampshire, but a population of breeding Canadian lynx. A breeding population is vastly more important to biologists then a single animal or animals passing through.
       These kittens represent the future for lynx in N.H. Had this camera not been set, it is likely these lynx would have never been observed. It's a testament to a cat that is among other things, extraordinarily stealthy. Note the large size of the tracks in the snow, one characteristic that sets lynx tracks apart from it's relative the bobcat. There's a wonderful article in the N.H. Wildlife Journal, written by Nancy Skarmeas with the help of a very knowledgable biologist named Will Staats. It can be found HERE. Special thanks to Luke Barbour and Cameron Ehle, who helped setup/retrieve these cameras.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

         Long overdue for a post so I'll do a couple in rapid succession. Sometimes the animals I photograph are located across the U.S. This one came from the back door of the house-one the best places. I was surprised at how relaxed this owl was, allowing me to get close enough to use the flash. I took a few shots and left him alone to hunt.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Bird print on the snow

        Yesterday I discovered the perfect imprint from a bird landing into the snow. I imagined an owl flying low over the snow that swooped down to grab a mouse, but as random truth pointed out, it does look grouse like.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Coyote and deer come for a drink

        This camera got "wacked" pretty early on by a bull moose during the rut, so the camera angle isn't perfect for the coyote shot. This camera was only correctly positioned for a week before a moose changed the angle, and three days later it dealt the camera a final blow, knocking it to the ground. When I returned to the camera it was still working ~4 months later, although all the pictures were close up shots of moss and ferns once it was knocked down. I'm sure the camera angle isn't something a little photoshop couldn't fix, but I enjoy presenting photographs of nature as they are-without being touched up.
     During the rut the moose tend to knock any small and un-assuming stick down that stands near their path. Whether it's out of curiosity of anger, they target the sticks I use for holding up my cameras like it's their job. Have I learned my lesson? Nope. I'm always after the perfect shot, and as it so often happens, there isn't a tree in the middle of an animal path for the perfect angle so I will continue using large sticks to hold cameras, I'll just have to be a little more picky during the rut.