Visiting the children’s trail camera

Submitted by Looduskalender EN on Sat, 18.03.2017 - 12:42

The fourth grade of the Ridala Elementary School invited the editors of the home page of the the animal of the year to visit them to see their trail camera. The camera is hidden at in the Vätse village five kilometres away from the school, at the house of fourth-grade pupil Erik.  When we got out of the car we headed for a little clearing in the forest behind the house where there was some grain spread on the ground and a salt lick block on top of a pole. We added vegetables bought at the Haapsalu market: carrots and cabbage leaves – roe deer like them. At the moment of course there were no animals there – our trampling around scared them. But in the trail camera the daytime visits of of the animals are nicely captured. 

Who else comes to the salt lick? We take along one camera from the tree – and hurried to the warm room to drink raspberry leaf tea and watch the images!


laua taga
Examining the camera yield together with Erik's hunter father Tõnis. Behind Eric sits teacher Ene, then  Otto-Valmar, Erik and Hiimo.
Photo: Mats Kangur


Erik’s father, hunter Tõnis, transfers the images into the computer and as the first one we see a raccoon dog. The reflecting eyes look straight toward the camera. Then comes an image of the familiar little roe deer buck  whose antler growth the children follow – there is talk about it in previous stories. ”See how fast his antlers have grown,” teacher Ene is amazed. ”The deer have become fewer during the last weeks,” Tõnis comments . “The rutting period starts.” Earlier according to Tõnis the roe deer passed on average 5 times a day past the camera; now the herds have quietly started to disperse. Which does not mean that the deer won’t come in camera view at all  in spring and summer! They will.

9. märtsi sarved kitsel
Antlers bigger again! On the roe buck caught in camera view on March 9  nice sturdy “mossy” antlers as hunter Tõnis says are already visible. “Of course when this skin layer is peeled off in some thicket the image will be much more modest,” Tõnis comments.

Since the camera is practically in Eric’s yard he is best updated among his eight classmates about the most recent news. He knows how many roe deer visit the camera, what they look like. At least four deer have been seen at once on camera. And other animals have been recorded too: fox, raccoon dog, elk, even wild boar and images have been made of the jay and other birds. The best images Tõnis saves in the computer so they are available to children who haven’t been in school too.
Who would the children themselves want to have in camera view? ”A jackal!” was the quick reply from the boys. Even this might happen – around there the new species in Estonia moves.
If a school class – or why not a kindergarten or family – would like to get their own trail camera after reading this story please contact our office. We will be happy to help to realise this idea!

Helen Arusoo

alt=soolakivi data-entity-type=file data-entity-uuid=ae979c11-eb15-4a4b-9e0f-1dcf284a22ba v:shapes="_x0000_i1025"> A fresh salt lick block is a delicacy!

kits ja pasknäärid
Roe deer like grain but many other creatures like it too, particularly birds. Many bird flocks have made stop-overs here, just now jays are picking at the grains.



ridala kooli 4 klass 7. märtsil
The Ridala Elementary School 4th class pupils (from left:) Sandra, Otto-Valmar, Andre, Karli, Erik and Hiimo with Eric’s father, hunter Tõnis Ulm. Tõnis has experiences of cameras, he succeeded for instance to catch the first image of a jackal in his trail camera.
Photo: Mats Kangur

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