What the Water Tank Brought

In June 2021, a 3RF conservation volunteer and friend bought a livestock water tank to replace a metal one that had long seen better days. We placed the tank under a honey mesquite tree to protect it near the pollinator garden.  

New water tank at 3RF.

A Reconyx camera was secured to the mesquite tree to hopefully capture the newly born white-tailed deer fawn we had been seeing on the main campus area. After checking the camera the next day, I repositioned it slightly to just above the water tank. As I always do, I waited with excitement for about 30 days to hopefully see fawn images that was coming to the old tank.  

Alas, after checking the camera SD card there was no fawn. I quickly went through the downloaded photos to see the fawn but it never made an appearance. What did make an appearance at this new water tank clearly was not what I was expecting.  

First up was a Bullock’s oriole, then an Eurasian Collared Dove, a lark sparrow, and a female white-tailed deer were the first to stop by the tank for a drink of water.  

A white-tailed deer stopping by the water tank.
A Northern Mockingbird coming into the water tank.
Bullock’s Oriole stopped by the new water tank.

And then…. 

The raccoon (aka the Lotor) came by. Over several nights the Lotor took to the water tank like it was his/her own private watering hole.  

He/She Lotor discovered the new water tank.
“Mine all mine!”

And then…. 

A male painted bunting stopped by for a drink.  

A male painted bunting stopping by the tank.
A male painted bunting at water tank.

And then… 

A dickcissel stopped by.  

Wildlife needs water just like we all do.  While it is natural seeing all this wildlife it just surprised me on the variety of birds that discovered the tank so quickly.

But it was always the Lotor acting like it was his/her personal bathtub that triggered the camera the most. Silly Lotor!  

Checking out the camera.
How in the world does this Lotor know the camera is right there?
Living his/her best life now in the water tank!

Reconyx cameras are not the best at capturing closeups of birds. I need to find a camera that will do just that. The high humidity in the region does not keep a reading lens attached to the camera whose advice that I got from #CameraTrapSue in Colorado.  

Until then this Lotor can have all the fun it wants at the new water tank.