Readers’ wildlife videos

May 25, 2021 • 8:00 am

Robert Lang, reader, physicist, and origami master, sent us some lovely videos he took from his California studio. These were sent on May 14, and Robert’s captions are indented.

These all come from a camera I have set up outside my studio window, so it’s capturing pretty much the view I have during the day at work (the animal visits are great, but my productivity has taken a nosedive). The critter cam has an IR feature, which lets me also get visitors who only show up at night. That’s when I’ve had most of my Gray Fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) visitors. (They are honorary cats, I hear.)

The meadow (mostly bare this spring, due to the poor rains this past winter) is prime habitat for California Ground Squirrels (Otospermophilus beecheyi). Sometimes, though, the Western Gray Squirrels (Sciurus griseus anthonyi) come out of the trees, like this one.
I get visitations from two types of rabbits: Brush Rabbits (Sylvilagus bachmani) and Desert (or Audobon’s) Cottontails (Sylvilagus audubonii). These are the latter. They’re distinguishable by (among other things) the black rim on their ears (which the Brush Rabbits lack; also the Brush Rabbits stick close to the brush line at the back of the lot, so I rarely get videos as they’re too far away.) These are being a bit frisky with each other.
I’ve seen way more rabbits this year than in previous years (and not many bobcat or coyotes). There’s probably some sort of relationship there.
We get lots of California Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus californicus). This one is ready for her close-up, Mr. DeMille.
And the grand finale, from this morning: an American Black Bear (Ursus americanus). Although California extirpated its grizzlies from everywhere but the state flag back in the 1920s, the Black Bear continues to spread throughout the state. They regularly come out of the mountains to visit the adjacent neighborhoods, and in recent months, a mother and two cubs have become downright famous in Altadena via postings from neighborhood security cameras. Despite the name “black bear,” their color is highly variable; the ones around here range from rich brown (like this one) to nearly blond.

5 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife videos

  1. Here in South Africa, we do not have bears, Strange that there are no bears in Africa at all (no bears in Antarctica and Australia either, but that is not surprising). No bears in Africa is weird. Does anybody have a good explanation?
    I note that six of the 8 bear species, only 2 are of ‘least concern’ (American black bear, and brown bear). All the others are considered ‘vulnerable’, including the Polar bear, which I find surprising.
    However, we do have Rooikats (Caracals) and Ratels (honey badgers) who occasionally visit our back yards. Not to mention Baboons and Vervet monkeys, who are considered nuisances I hope for a leopard, but they have become extremely shy, for obvious reasons.
    If I’d see a lion in my backyard (although indigenous) I’d think it had escaped captivity.

    Great photos/videos, and what a thrill to have a black bear rummaging in your backyard!

    1. No edit function, just delete the ‘six’ in that sentence. There are only 2 bear species ‘of least concern’, the other 6 are considered ‘vulnerable’.

  2. Wildlife cameras are really fun and you’ve captured some great moments with the local wildlife. Our wildlife camera was stolen last Summer and I haven’t gotten around to replacing it. This set has inspired me to get a new one…I’ll just have to hide it better. Damn thieves!

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