And, I'd also like to move the cam trapping ball forward on them. I know perfect photos of flying bats can be captured - the amazing Michael Durham does it with his eyes closed. But, I'd like to see if it can be refined using $200 homebrew cam traps, instead of $2,000+ pro setups. I've seen the Codge show some success, so thought I'd give it a go too.
Thus, once the bats returned to the bat cave down in the Tehachapis, I set another cam.
Here's the few serendipity shots it caught. Nothing good, but showing some potential. I say "serendipity" because most are photographed somewhat incidentally - the photographed bat happens to be in the scene 2 seconds or so after a bat or rodent triggered the waking of the cam trap. The cam is way too slow for direct real-time photography, so density or frequency of bats is a must if you hope to have one in the scene when the shutter finally snaps.
In this case, the mouth of a bat cave, as they're coming and going.
These first 3 shots seem to be a Myotis (thanks Codger for your help). Might just be Myotis californicus, the California Myotis. But, it could be Myotis ciliolabrum, the Western Small-footed Myotis. Like the Codge, I lean towards ciliolabrum - a Species of Special Concern in CA.
Buffy body, dark wings and mask, and medium ears suggest Myotis ciliolabrum
Side of what I think is the same species
Butt shot of what I think is the same species
This might be the same Myotis species too, but the head looks rustier, and the ears smaller:
Perhaps a different species? Body looks pale, head rusty and ears small and dark
This last lame pic seems to definitely be a different, perhaps 3rd species. Maybe a long-eared bat, such as Myotis evotis, the Long-eared Myotis, or Corynorhinus townsendii, Townsend's Big-eared Bat - both are also Species of Special Concern and range into the Tehachapis.
Bat that appears to be brown all over with big ears
The technique definitely needs a lot more work.
But as I said, it shows some potential.
- Camera Trap Codger - Night Roost
- Camera Trap Codger - Poison Water Guzzlers - Predators
- Camera Trap Codger - Spooks in the Rock Pile
- Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History - Townsend's Big-eared Bat
- Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History - California Myotis
- Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History - Western Small-footed Myotis
- Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History - Long-eared Myotis
- Michael Durham Photography - Bats / (also on flickr)
- California Department of Fish & Game - Species of Special Concern
- The Nature of a Man (this blog) - The Bat Cave