Stories tagged trailcam


Skunk bum
Skunk bumCourtesy WNC
In the last week our cameras picked up several visitors. Several were black and white, colors that help active animals in the winter be less obvious. Camouflage is one of many strategies animals use to survive a MN winter. Hibernation and migration are other strategies to deal with the cold. My guess is that this skunk will go into torpor soon, this is a strategy similar to hibernation but not as complete. They will slow breathing and heart beat but will wake to forage when the temps get warm, usually the 40's

The skunk is seen here with its bum towards the deer just a few seconds after it was eating on it. Perhpas marking it for its own.

I love the crow looking at the camera with the hunk of venison in its beak. The second shot shows just how big the piece of meat is!Crow watching
Crow watchingCourtesy WNC

Crow Eating
Crow EatingCourtesy WNC

We had a Downy Woodpecker, striped skunk, and American Crows visit out dead deer in the last week.

Over the last week A few of our more colorful guests included white footed mice and a Red-Bellied Woodpecker.

The recent snows have covered the two deer and the traffic has diminished quite a bit, hopefully we will see the coyotes and foxes come back soon.

Enjoy the Solstice!


Still image from a video of a Common Raven stripping fur off of a coyote.
Still image from a video of a Common Raven stripping fur off of a coyote.Courtesy Twin Cities Naturalist
A motion activated camera captured remarkable still images in Northern Washington County, Minnesota this week. The camera was set up on a dead coyote in hopes of discovering what scavengers would come eat. Raccoons and crows were not unexpected but it was exciting when Common Ravens showed up on the photos.

Northern Washington County is right on the edge of the breeding range of Ravens and simply seeing them during breeding season is an exciting sign they may be breeding. The photos went even further than simply showing the ravens were present however. What the series of photos which were complied into a video clearly show is a raven stripping the fur from the coyote and then carrying it away. Ravens are known to line their nests with animal fur so this is a clear indication these birds are nesting.

View the entire video here.

Information like this helps scientists build range maps of where birds breed. Many states are building breeding bird atlases with the help of citizen scientists who study bird behavior. Currently Minnesota, Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia have active atlas efforts. Find out more and learn how to take part at