So we set up the Ltl Acorn on one of Rich's Manfrotto tripods and turned it on.
Sootie could sense, smell or hear the fox in the middle
of the night. He would catapult himself down three flights
of stairs and head out to protect his turf, often pausing
to pee and mark his territory right where the fox had marked.
Another great feature of the Ltl Acorn is the side scanning PIR sensors. Many or most game cams rely on one sensor to turn on the camera and take a photo. In effect what the Acorn does is pick up movement with the side scanners and tell the camera to get ready to take a photo.
Secondly, like the Bushnell Trophy cam, which I also have, it has an infrared or "black" flash which is invisible to animal or human eyes. The advantage is that it does not spoke the target. The disadvantage is that it renders a black and white photo at night, not a color image.
The infrared image made it hard to figure how many foxes we were dealing with as their coloration was lost in the infrared spectrum. We figured we had at least two, though our neighbour had seen three at one time.
I should mention that the Acorn sensors are sensitive enough that I have some great video of a rain storm that set off the camera. And, some great sky shots when my son's automatic lawn mower decided it was time to cut the lawn, on the night I had put the tripod on the lawn. It mowed down the tripod and stalled out. No damage to either.
|We can see that this fox appears to have dark trimmings on|
its tail and dark ears and paws, The guess is that it is red with black highlights.
Certainly it does not appear to be a black phase. This image is cropped from a vertical.
|Up or down? We figure this fox was jumping down from the neighbours fence, at 5:30 a.m.|
Update: I finally am able to post the video clips. For those that are interested it was two issues.
First I had to convert from AVI which the Acorn uses to QuickTime. Then while in the QuickTime version post to YouTube. However, then the files would not post to YouTube, but sat for hours with a moving blue strip saying it was processing. A search on the web found a post that indicated I had chosen by account by my Google email (which it had asked for) rather than the channel name. Once I did that all was well. Here they are.
Clearly the still images, while purported to be 12 megs, are not of a quality that could be used for publication, at least not the night, infrared photos. However, what I enjoy most is that the camera is capturing behavior that I would not otherwise observe, behavior that is taking place and being recorded while I sleep. It was always interesting to get up in the morning, grab a coffee and download images to Aperture 3 and see what we had captured that night.
|Clearly this fox was a female. |
Sootie would come out and mark this same spot.
|With a slightly altered setup I managed to get a shot of the fox|
on the neighbour's fence.
|This one is checking something out before it crouches to exit via the gate.|
I am now considering adapting one of my Nikons to use in a camera trap so that I can get higher resolution photos with more control. I will use an infrared beam to catch movement but in this setup I will not use a infrared flash. In the daytime this will allow the motor drive to kick in and capture more images at a higher shutter speed.
Now that I am back home in the snowy mountains of British Columbia the cameras will be set up to try and continue capturing mountain caribou and my backyard critters.
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All photos, video and text copyright to Richard Thomas Wright 2012.