Saturday, 4 February 2023

Book Review: Camera Trapping Guide

 I follow a Facebook trailcam camera and video group. The author of the book, Janet Pesaturo, is one of the administrators. She posted information about her book, and I bought it for myself for my birthday, Dec. 26th. (That's how we roll here!)

There are a lot of books out about critters. It is often difficult to choose which is best for you. I have general guide books about eastern birds, moths, insects, and mammals. I've interesting books, like my latest on animal scat! Scat Finder I've books specific to deer, owls, and bears. 

Janet explains that when she began setting out camera traps, she would go out with her mammal field guide, a tracking guide, and a summary of the critter's behaviour. She took the initiative to write this book to help us understand how, when, and where to place cameras, and she provides good information on 35 mammals, 5 birds, and alligators. Now, I don't need to know about alligators, but it was fun to read.

Amazon provides a preview, and the table of contents lists the critters. Each chapter is devoted to one animal, and follows a consistent format: physical characteristics, tracks and trails, diet, scat and urine, habitat, breeding, then rounding it off with specific camera trapping tips.

Chapter two
Eastern Cottontail
If I have any constructive criticism, it is that the durn maps end at the Canada/US border. I've been researching woodland voles (meadow voles, as Janet calls them), for example, and learned a lot about them. I still don't know why they are going into the mouse hole in the house, and that remains a mystery. 

It helps to understand a species to know where to place a camera. It pays to track them, and understanding paths that they follow. My frogpond trailcam, for example, is a heavily trodden path between the wetland and the pond. Many critters prefer to stay on dry land whilst making their way through their habitat. What I notice is that in winter, when the frog pond is frozen, they avoid the camera. Little twerps!

Janet wrote a blog called, One Acre Farm, all about homesteading. She has a new blog, Winterberry Wildlife. There is so much information on them. 

I do recommend the book. It is full a lot of excellent information not found elsewhere. 

BTW  I learned how to refine my camera trapping skills from my photographer internet buddy (we've never met!) who has a video from last year with the buck losing its antler on film. He camera traps in a large forest and writes about wildlife photography. 

For me, camera trapping has been hit and miss. I've learned a lot by my mistakes. 
Today, we begin with - 30 C. temperatures. There won't be much on the cameras today. 

The birds, mourning doves and starlings nestle in the evergreen.

From large to small, we film them all!

backyard deer from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Richard Deer has lost his antlers, he'll regrow them in spring, but he still wears a figurative crown.

bossy Richard deer from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

I've been experimenting on the front porch, where the birds scatter seeds from the feeder.

American Tree Sparrow from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

mice and cats from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

For more critters: Saturday's Critters # 477


eileeninmd said...

Hello Jenn,
The books sounds interesting. You seem to have found great spots for your trailcam. I always enjoy seeing the deer, critters and your birds. Great videos. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a great weekend. PS, thank you for leaving me a comment.

Tom said...

...there's a facebook group for every subject!

Barbara Rogers said...

It is strange for a vole to be happy in an above ground house! I think of them as the same as moles, only a bit different. WHat a great book, and if I had any trails, let alone cams, I'd use it!

Divers and Sundry said...

It would be frustrating to be just outside the map range...

I'll never live in a place where setting up this kind of trail cam would be possible, but I love hearing about it. FB groups can be a great support, and it sounds like yours is led by someone who knows a thing or two :)

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

This looks like a neat book for you! Hope you had a happy birthday. Love your trail cam videos! Thanks.

Jeanie said...

This looks like an excellent book for someone like you who has a trail cam. Your videos are always wonderful!

Elephant's Child said...

Hooray for learning from your/our mistakes. And for learning generally. And for critters.

RedPat said...

I love the pics you get from your cameras.

Cloudia said...

While in Marin, California, my doorbell video cam captured an entire raccoon family walking by after the big one checked it out! That was the high point of my adventure. I always enjoy seeing what you come up with. Stay safe. Spring is coming

Cloudia said...

Oh Happy Birthday 🎈🎂🌴🌴🌴

Red said...

Interesting how many people participate with trail cams. You spend a lot of time with is and come up with interesting information.

Shiju Sugunan said...

Facebook groups are pretty handy. Your trailcam outputs are always so fun to watch.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

An interesting book. I've thought about setting my trailcam up out in a remote area of one of public woods but I'm afraid it would go missing. You always have such great photos.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

That sounds like an interesting book. I know you will use it to your advantage. Richard deer IS bossy!

Breathtaking said...

Hello Jan :=)
The book provided you with lots of helpful information. Your Trail cam films are always interesting.
Stay warm, and a belated Happy Birthday.:=)

Kay said...

You must be able to write a book yourself with all the knowledge you've acquired from tracking wildlife in your woods.