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05-30-2016, 11:14 PM - 3 Likes   #1
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Not your usual camera damage!

I use several trail cams/motion sensor cams in my day-today work. It is surprising how animals can react to them. Obviously they don't know it is a camera. But they do get "eye-balled" by deer and deer also chew the ends of the straps if they can get at them.


But this is different.


A year ago a young Wedge-tailed Eagle spent some time on the ground near a camera. Then he (she?) saw it and came in for a closer look.





Skip to this year, same camera but shifted to another position not far from where the first pic was taken. I suspect it is the same eagle. Their plumage gets darker with age until they are almost black. This one has darkened up a bit so I suspect it is second year. And back with attitude!







Let's see what this thing is ...





It had a good go. When I found the camera, the side catch was undone (top arrow), the bottom catch was broken (and the door swinging in the breeze) (bottom arrow), the camera was scratched by the talons, and a talon had pierced and broken the lens cover.





Amazingly, the camera still works - just. The broken lens cover stopped the IR filter from moving, so daylight shots were OK but night shots were a washout. I have since removed the pieces of broken lens cover and the IR filter moves but I am yet to give it a test run. I will need to make a new cover for the lens to keep moisture out. The scratches show clearly.





Never a dull moment!

05-30-2016, 11:21 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by PJ1 Quote
Never a dull moment!

At least you have proof of what happened for the insurance company. Great set of images mate.
05-31-2016, 02:35 AM   #3
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Is it possible that it was seeing its reflection in the lens, and reacting to that?
05-31-2016, 02:57 AM   #4
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Birds of prey have incredible eyesight and, in all probability, can see light in a wider spectrum to us (i.e. 'visible light'). These cameras use infrared sensors to detect motion. Perhaps the bird could 'see' the infra red light, got confused (or was having a bad day) and reacted violently

05-31-2016, 05:14 AM   #5
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We can conclude that the camouflage didn't work on this species.

---------- Post added 31st May 2016 at 09:49 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Wild Mark Quote
Birds of prey have incredible eyesight and, in all probability, can see light in a wider spectrum to us (i.e. 'visible light'). These cameras use infrared sensors to detect motion. Perhaps the bird could 'see' the infra red light, got confused (or was having a bad day) and reacted violently
Some species are thought to see polarized light or longer wavelengths of UV, but I haven't heard of any species being sensitive to infra-red.
05-31-2016, 05:25 AM   #6
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Likely the Eagle just noticed something that didn't belong. As you say, in their territory they can be pretty defensive. There are a lot of videos of animals finding and investigating camera traps. There's one great video of a polar bear with a ball camera, playing with it like a beach ball.

It is an interesting comparison over the years, though. Maybe the Eagle will get used to it eventually, or remove it and drop it in a lake.
05-31-2016, 05:27 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by pete-tarmigan Quote
Some species are thought to see polarized light or longer wavelengths of UV, but I haven't heard of any species being sensitive to infra-red.
Unsure myself, but, it would not surprise me.

---------- Post added 05-31-16 at 10:29 PM ----------

Perhaps raptors just hate technology

http://www.newsweek.com/police-train-eagles-take-out-rogue-drones-422030

05-31-2016, 05:45 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by dcshooter Quote
When I was working in the Mojave desert, we had some trail cams get played with by coyotes. The images produced were pretty amusing!
territory marking comes to mind
05-31-2016, 03:28 PM   #9
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Thanks for commenting, team. I suspect a lot of animals react to anything new in their environment with curiosity. I saw a TV program once where they were trying to get Asiatic elephants on a trail cam (I think it was in Sri Lanka). An elephant ripped it off the tree the moment it saw it - and crushed it with its trunk. (It made me feel slightly uncomfortable.) Interestingly, dogs and foxes rarely show any interest, but the cameras are above their eye line and I suspect that most of their interest is focused on the scent that I leave when I change a card. Cats show no interest at all. Kangarooos and wallabies seem to operate on a whole different plane of awareness. They will check out a dog's scent marks (survival value in that) but appear to show no interest in human scent on the ground. But when one kangaroo is checking scent marks, the others are scanning the environment.
05-31-2016, 03:57 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by PJ1 Quote
Kangarooos and wallabies seem to operate on a whole different plane of awareness. They will check out a dog's scent marks (survival value in that) but appear to show no interest in human scent on the ground. But when one kangaroo is checking scent marks, the others are scanning the environment.
Interesting. I have found roos and wallabies to actually get interested in the camera too.
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