Our New Neighbors

Work on The Shouthouse 3.0 continues. Update coming soon, including why version 2.0 didn’t work, either.

In the mean time, I wanted to share some exciting (for us, anyway) shots we captured with our infrared camera. A representative from the Felidae Conservation Fund came out to help us find the best location for our camera. She told us to look for game trails, those paths in the grass that indicate walking paths well-traveled by game. Then, find where those game trails intersect and put the camera, human knee height, strapped to a tree. After getting nothing for several weeks in different locations around our property, we decided to scrap the game trail intersections and put it at the latrine that looked like it was frequently used, and which we identified as being made by a fox. Perhaps you recall the scat/latrine picture from an earlier post. The manzanita berries in the scat indicate that it’s an omnivore and therefore dog family (cats are carnivores, and would only have fur and bones in the scat). Since there are only two kinds of dogs out here—coyote and several species of fox—we were able to guess from the small size of the scat that it must be coming from a fox.

Well, turns out we were right! The black stripe on the top of the tail identifies it as a gray fox. Caught in the act sniffing.

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And it turns out that our gray fox isn’t the only one traveling that path. We captured shots (albeit blurry ones) of the tail end of a striped skunk, a black-tailed jack rabbit, and a bobcat! This spot is about 100 feet behind the RV. So cool to know there’s so much going on right around us.

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Finally, we found a dead mouse in one of our buckets. Poor little guy must have fallen in there and frozen over night. We are unable to identify him, since he meets none of the criteria for the kinds of rodents found in the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s so teensy, but appears full-grown. The body is 1 and 1/2″, the tail is 2 and 3/4″, and the ears are 1/2″. The feet are white and its underside is white, too. We posed him near the rocks where we found him in the bucket. He’s now in a canning jar in our freezer awaiting identification. Can you help us identify it?

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UPDATE:
Looks like Heerman’s Kangaroo Rat. Thanks, Mark and SFBay Wildlife!