New ‘Little Mammal Lens’

We’ve been trialling a new adaptation to one of our camera traps so that we can capture close-up images of small mammals and birds.

Coupled with the change to a camera, we’ve also cobbled together a little feeding station for the camera to sit in and have been sprinkling a few crushed peanuts to tempt the local small mammals inside…

And its worked!

Bank vole close up camera trap

A bank vole inspects the peanuts… (from a video still)

Focal range

Normally, standard camera traps wouldn’t let you focus close up like this as the focal range is set deeper.

However, with an macro lens attached, the focal range becomes much shallower, allowing the camera to get clear images close up.

Some Bushnell cameras come with interchangeable lenses, but most need an adaptation like this.

Happily, a common shrew also came to test out the new ‘Little Mammal Lens’…

Shrew close up camera trap

The camera trap’s infrared LEDs also allow us to capture footage of the mini critters for 24 hours a day, and an option on the camera allows you to determine how bright the LEDs are.

You can see what this looks like captured on video, including a rather crazy shrew and a dastardly cat…

We’re hoping to utilise our Little Mammal Lens to help schoolchildren and environmental organisations get a good look of the little mammals they have running around playgrounds and nature reserves…

New insights

Often animals like common shrews and bank voles are briefly glimpsed dashing around, or instead caught and handled in small mammal traps.

The great thing about this new set up is that the animals are completely undisturbed – and even get a nice bonus meal!

The bank vole has been busily moving all the peanuts into a cache somewhere close by, and occasionally stopping to eat one or two…

Bank vole close up camera trap

A quick nibble

Now that small mammals are no longer out of reach for our camera traps (or too small to be identified), we can hopefully tick a few more species off the list with the Little Mammal Lens…!

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