If you saw last Friday’s post regarding the backyard discovery of the six baby rats, I’m figuring it’s high time four days later to follow up with a status report. Did my efforts to rebuild their home and return the infant rodents to it hopefully entice momma rat to come back and continue raising them? I’d love to offer a definitive “hell yeah!” but frankly, I’m not at all sure.

But here’s what I do know. Sorry to be gross, but if the six baby rats died in the nest there’d be at least some sort of stink — which there isn’t (and yes I’ve gotten my nose up next to it and taken deep sniffs). So I take this as a good sign. Then again, maybe something came and ate them already. Then again maybe momma came and moved them one-by-one to a new nest.  Fact is, short of dismantling the brick house I rebuilt for them and looking inside (something I have decided not to do), I just don’t have much of a concrete clue.

Another sign that’s open to interpretation is the photographic evidence gathered from the RatCam that I set up pointing at the nest’s entrance.  Grainy at best and barely decipherable at worst, the webcam set-up has captured and archived the steady stream of 320×240-sized motion-sensored images between June 8 at 7:14 p.m. and this morning at 7:32 a.m. and strung them together into a Quicktime movie that I’ve reviewed several times.  From that video file I’ve identified several anomalies that are indicative of something moving to and from and around the entrance. It could be a blur that appears and disappears, or a flash of what looks to be tail against the bricks. Or it could be my imagination starved for some sort of happy ending.

There is one frame, captured that first evening whose quality is on the same below-par level as most of the others, but provides what I consider to be the best evidence of what looks to be a rodent (indicated by the yellow arrow) that has paused and appears to be looking back toward the bricks (click to double the images size):

rat.jpg

Maybe you see it or maybe you think I’m hallucinating, but in the sequence of images before and after, the shape that’s visible in the frame above isn’t, like so:

rat0.jpg

rat.jpg

rat1.jpg

There are other decidedly less definitive images that I won’t bother to upload, but the RatCam’s still rolling and my fingers are still crossed.