In all, 10 mammal species and 4 bird species stopped by in only 30 days.
Here's the roll-call:
California ground squirrel (huh?)
Least chipmunk (probably least)
A bountiful habitat, to be sure.
But I'm not too surprised. That aspen grove is harboring all sorts of tasties that should attract and maintain a food chain. I saw serviceberry, desert and mountain snowberry, wild roses, wax currants, gooseberries, nettles, and sierra onions. The latter all along the backside of the log.
Below are a photo and flipbook for each of the more interesting visits.
A second angle of the aspen grove set
Bobcats visited 4 times. 3 sniff-throughs are below. Might all be the same bob. First 2 seem to be. Note that while the collared cougars entered boldly from the open field to the left, the bobcats always snuck through from the thickets on the right.
Bob #2 - same as above?:
Bob #3 - too bad the cam didn't catch the scratching in full frame...
A spotted skunk came through too. Watch how fast and furious their foraging is:
And a striped skunk snuffled the same log. Since stripe nicely stopped on the same end as spotty, you can get a good sense of the big difference in their size - over 2:1.
Last, a Nuttall's cottontail, Sylvilagus nuttallii, hopped up on to the log for some nibbles and a nice pose. At least I'm pretty sure it's a Nuttall's (also called mountain cottontails). The problem: Nuttall's and Audubon's cottontail, Sylvilagus audubonii (also called desert cottontails), are notoriously hard to tell apart. Per Jameson & Peeters:
|Feature||Nuttall's cottontail||Audubon's cottontail|
|Dorsum fur color||brownish||generally gray|
|Ears||shorter, round tips, with fur inside||larger, sparsely furred|
|Back feet||not particularly slender||slender, sparsely furred|
Based on my experience seeing desert cottontails, I'd say the rabbit in the pics below is more brown than gray, and has shorter ears that are furrier inside. Making it nuttallii.
But... while Jameson & Peeters also suggest that this area is out of the range of audubonii, some habitats are right, and I've seen some bunnies while out hiking that DO look very much like desert cottontails. Plus, J & P also say the area should be out of the range of the desert woodrat, Neotoma lepida, and I've caught them on cams and seen middens.
So, I can't call it for sure. Perhaps both nuttallii and audubonii are there, living sympatric.
Gotta love aspen groves.