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  • Writer's pictureMike Curtis

A cete of badgers

I had to look this one up. The collective noun for a group of badgers is a 'cete', not to be confused with their home which is a sett.

Thursday night / Friday morning worked out just great for the camera trap setup. I finally ironed out the technical issues, as well as the reward to encourage them to visit. I didn't check the exact number of images of badgers but it must have been well in excess of 200. The maximum number in anyone one image was five, but inevitably most of those will have their backsides pointing at the camera. A distinct sixth badger also visited the site, and just to top it off a small vixen made a brief appearance.

Just in case anyone is concerned, the camera trap is not located at or near the badger sett. In fact, it's over 100 m away across an unkempt woodland. I selected the site after deploying a trail cam here as it's the site where a number of animal trails converge. To encourage the badgers to hang around I scatter and bury some peanuts as a reward for being such great models. I also hid a saucer of honey in hope that a fox found the site first, foxes love a bit of honey, but the badgers enjoyed that as well :) They are clearly unconcerned by the flashes as the individual animals are seen from one image to the next without any obvious reaction. I've also tested the system on myself. As the flashes are offset by a couple of metres either side of the camera, the light does not flash directly into their eyes, and the flashes are elevated approximately 1 to 1.5 m above the ground. Why would the animals be looking at the camera? Well, you can still hear the shutter even though it's a soft, muffled sound. The fox, in particular, and some curious badgers pay attention to the shutter sound.

The fox is proving to be harder to catch, a problem made even harder by a cete of badgers scaring it away and hoovering up all the rewards.

Click below for higher resolution views

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