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Thread: Need Help Identifying Small Creature In Yard

  1. #1 Need Help Identifying Small Creature In Yard 
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    Hi Everyone.

    I need help identifying a small creature in my yard. I live in south eastern Pennsylvania. I got a film clip of it at 1:30am on 6/2/10 using an automatic wildlife camera called a “Stealth Cam Rogue I540IR”. It takes black and white images at night by bathing the area with infrared bulbs. The images are filtered and translated so what you see on the clip is a black and white interpretation of the digital images, not a actual heat signature.

    There is an opossum on the lower left side walking out of the image at the beginning of the 90 second clip that you can use as reference to get an idea of the scale and the size of the mystery creature. I also posted a second clip of a raccoon filmed the same night for reference and scale. The image of the mystery creature is small and blurry so I think it can only be identified by the odd way that it moves across the screen.

    At first I thought it was a mouse or small rodent, but at some points it very quickly zips sideways without turning its body, moving almost like a giant spider. Also it comes up as a white blur on the film, which may mean that it has a reflective body, since I get very good color differentiation when I see raccoons and other animals on the films.

    Any replies with any ideas of what this creature may be would be very appreciated. I am hoping someone with more experience will recognize the odd way that it moves and immediately know what it is.

    Unknown small creature in my yard at 1:30am on 06-02-2010.
    Film clip posted here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rhtnGgH0Ww

    Raccoon for comparison and scale also in my yard on 06-02-2010.
    Film clip posted here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOXgw_RIeO0

    Thank you very much.
    Bernclay-


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  3. #2  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    do you have land crabs in Pennsylvania?


    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  4. #3  
    Forum Professor Zwirko's Avatar
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    An tiny insect on the camera lens?
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  5. #4  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
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    It's a spider on a web or making a web in front of the camera. I'm guessing the prevailing wind (breeze) was from right to left since that's the direction it seems to drift now and then.
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  6. #5  
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    Thank you very much Skinwalker. I think you are right. Just goes to show what a fresh pair of eyes can do sometimes. I have been observing animals with the camera for weeks, watching them emerge out of the dark and walk across the field of view. So when I saw this, I automatically thought of it as walking across the ground. It never occurred to me that it could be on the camera lens. Thanks very much for solving my mystery.
    Berncly-
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  7. #6  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
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    What helped me was probably that I watched the spider video first then the racoon. Had I done it the other way around I might have expected the creature to be on the ground and not suspended between the lens and the ground.

    It also helps that I've got a lot of experience using night vision devices. They're notorious for distorting distance and perspective. So I probably unconsciously expected such distortions.
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  8. #7  
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    Hi Skinwalker.

    I have been considering buying a night vision device (goggles, mono-goggle, or scope) so that I can sit out on my second floor balcony and watch the animals in my yard in real time. There is a lot of activity going on out there at night and I would love to be able to see it. The camera I have been using is only good up to 30 feet and I can’t see the video in real time without standing next to it with a laptop.

    I have no experience with night vision except for this camera. I wonder if you may be able to suggest a good night vision product for me to try. I know they can be expensive. I would be willing to spend considerably more than I did for this camera for a product that will give me really good observation in real time. I can’t tell one from another, and any useful information based on your experience would be a great help.

    Thanks very much again.
    Berncly-
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