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trail cam

I setup a trail camera in the park on Sunday night to get pictures of whatever was eating the food. When I viewed the pictures on Monday the only pictures were of me placing the camera and of the person who restocked the food Monday morning. Whatever ate the food eluded being photographed!

I read up on the camera a bit and made some adjustments to the sensitivity and set it closer to the food. I placed it back in the park on Monday night and retrieved it on Tuesday morning. This time it got images of the guilty party.

 

It’s an opossum!

Since I’m not interested in feeding the opossums, I have made the decision to assume there are no more cats at this site and thus we will stop feeding here. I have informed both of the people who had been feeding the cats to stop putting food down but to keep looking out for cats. At the first sign of a cat, call us!

With the trapping in the park now complete, we can focus all energies on recovery of the mama cat and relocating them to a good home. Nancy has a lead on a possible barn home for the kittens. Paws crossed that it works out!

This was my first time using one of these trail cameras. They are made for hunters to scout a location for game hunting, however I like our use of them much better! They are small little cameras that have infrared lights that allow for taking images in the dark or in the daylight when motion or heat is detected. The picture I posted above is all washed out because the camera was too close to the subject and thus flooded it with light.

The camera I used for this project site I borrowed from Nancy. It’s a nice, simple compact model and of course it’s one they don’t sell anymore. I was looking at the trail camera’s available, and I found the Spypoint Tiny-W2 Wireless Infrared Surveillance Camera, which would have been perfect for this site.

Spypoint Tiny-W2 8MP 5X Wireless Infrared Surveillance Camera

Because it has WI-FI capabilities, it would have allowed us to monitor the traps from the comfort of the car at a distance away without having to continually walk up to the traps every few hours and potentially scare away any cats. I could see many similar TNR applications in the future for such a camera. But since this camera is nearly $300, I won’t be getting one anytime soon!

On the first day of trapping at this site, I attempted to rig up a “homemade” trail camera using my wireless network camera and a wireless router all powered by a 12 volt battery. The concept seemed sound but it was plagued with problems. The strength of the wireless signal coming from the camera was not strong enough to maintain a good connection, thus it was difficult to stay connected to the camera to see the traps. After that first use, I made some adjustments to the setup that should significantly boost signal strength but I didn’t get a chance to deploy the modified setup.

The camera and battery are in the green bucket.

One nice feature of this camera is it allows for panning and tilting, thus you can look around the site as you wait for cats. I also like that the green bucket setup is fairly inconspicuous. It just looks like a beat up old bucket, versus the fancy trail camera looks like a fancy trail camera! A big downside of this setup is that it consumes a lot more battery power than the simple trail cam and it requires a laptop be present and will not record images without a laptop.

Here is the view I had from my laptop in the car when the camera was actually working.

 

This was the picture of the traps from the camera.

Even with the new setup potentially working better than the first try, I’ll still dream about maybe someday getting the simple yet fancy Spypoint Tiny-W2 8MP 5X Wireless Infrared Surveillance Camera!

3 Responses to “trail cam”

  1. Marg says:

    That is what usually happened to me when I left a trap out. An oppossum would grab the food.
    Looks like you are doing such a good job figuring out the camera idea. You are doing such a good job catching those cats. Hope you can get the Momma kitty. Keep us posted.

  2. Katie Isabella says:

    Loving these TNR posts. How is sweet Oliver though?

  3. darned possums….mom caught one once and the goofy thing wouldn’t leave the trap!!

    http://romp-roll-rockies.blogspot.com/ She uses trail cams for….well….trails. She may have some advice on cameras for you.

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