How Many Images Did It Take?

Image: Coyote howling in front of camera.

How many images did it take to get this coyote to sit down in front of the camera and howl?

Let’s look at the total numbers. They are huge when it comes to photographs. But what do they represent? They represent my wildlife biology work from 2015 to the present at 3 Rivers Foundation.  

But they represent so much more…

Each month since 2015 I set camera trap cameras. Each month I collect SD cards and download the data into a computer. These cameras monitor the biological diversity without me being present in the field. Initially, the cameras were monitoring 700 acres and then 3RF added another 2300 acres of conservation lands. With each click of a camera, it either caught an animal or some fast-growing grass. Each image is counted. Because even grass growing is a biological indicator of at least good rains and moisture.

Image: Calculator image showing 547,017 total
Image: Calculator image showing 62,237 total

The 547, 017 total represents the number of camera trap images on Comanche Springs Astronomy Campus since January 2015. The 62,237 number represents the number of camera trap images and videos captured on the ranch. When you put both of those numbers together that comes out to a 609,474 total captures up to the end of 2020.

Image: Calculator image showing 609,474 total

Why is 609,474 so significant?  It took that many photos to capture the one photo I have always wished and longed for… a coyote sitting down in front of the camera and howling. And making this image even more special is that it was like a 2020 Christmas gift.

Coyotes have serenaded me during my entire field time. They are always present. They are essential to a healthy ecosystem for biological diversity. They have been continuously recorded on the camera traps.

But never have I gotten the coyote howl until after 609,474 images!!!!

If only the camera had been set to video!