08 November 2010

Seeking The Shrew

I made a quick stop at Tygerberg to switch the SD card on the Bushnell. I was hoping for Shrews. I was very happy when I got home and checked the memory card.

I don't know what it is about these tiny mammals, but I really enjoy them and find them fascinating. I've been on the lookout for a good shrew spot for some time and tried one or two spots with no luck, but when I saw this location I knew I struck gold.

My Bushnell trail camera on the job

I got my angle slightly wrong, but I'll adjust that soon and move the camera back slightly. Still, I'm very pleased with the results.

 Video: Darting past the camera during the day

The shrew in question is the Reddish-Grey Musk Shrew (Rooigrysmuskusskeerbek - Crocidura cyanea).

Video: The shrew gave the camera only a short glimpse

This is not the first time I've photographed a Reddish-Grey Musk Shrew. I photographed one a couple of months ago at Kistenbosch.

Video: This time around a slows down a bit

Some people might confuse a shrew with a rodent, but they are in fact very different and belong to the Soricomorpha order.

Video: Finally some great action in front of the camera

The shrew shared the runway with a couple of rodents. I'll share some of their videos soon.

Video: The last video clip of the shrew before the memory card filled up


  1. It's good to see that the camera can capture such a small animal. I've had problems in the past with the flash or IR array over-exposing the entire image at that close a distance.

    Thanks for sharing all of the fascinating wildlife in your area of the world!

  2. Nice! It was gratifying to finally see it's little pointy shrew face. I agree re: strangely fascinated by these amazing creatures. I saw one in a fight with a western fence lizard years ago, right on the sidewalk by people, at my friend's foot. Once the lizard warmed up (who was being attacked by the shrew) in the sun, WHAM, it nailed the shrew twice, and the shrew died. RIGHT in FRONT of us in the DAY LIGHT. Sent it off and it was, if I remember right, a Notiosorex. Trippy! I prefer seeeing them alive and happy, your way. =)

  3. Dan: Yes, the flash is a problem. I carry black issolation/electric tape with me to try and dim the flash when I place the camera. Usually I don't get it perfect, but it helps. For this set I put tape over almost the entire flash area and the flash is still strong. I also noticed that for this kind of camera trapping that the video setting gives beter results. (I think I recall Camera Trap Codger mentioning that he used plastic from a milk bottle to dim the flash with some success.)

  4. Great stuff Henry. Shrews are a wish lister for me.

    I've been trying various translucencies of white plastic from milk, juice and iso alcohol containers (etc) as a flash diffuser on Moultrie and Reconyx IR cams, and am getting pretty good results. The flash isn't diminished much, and it takes away the hot spot pretty well.

    Might have to write a post about it at some point... :)