Sunday, August 7, 2011

Yellowstone Park continued...

Spring time brings courtships and new life to Yellowstone.  I had the opportunity to observe a pair of Barrow's goldeneyes going through their romance.  They got so close to me that in my opinion, they were obsessed with their love making that they did not see me.  Part of the ritual was for the male to take short runs and then approach the gal, accompanied by lots of head movements.

After mating, the female climbed into a log and preened herself insuring that all feathers were in place and flew to a large pine tree where it appears that a nest was being built.

A mama badger was busy feeding her family of 3 young ones.  I spent time with the family until finally; I was able to capture the Mom bringing a Uinta ground squirrel to the den.  Prey was not easy to catch because the mother will be gone at times for 3-4 hours before returning, and some times with no prey.  This was my first time ever seen badgers in the field.

Brown bears are easily seen in the Park but at times 1 or 2 days go by without seen one.  But other days many are sighted at close range.  On one day I saw 12 brown bears.  Grizzly bears are also seen but I was not able to get a good image of one.  In the spring time is common baby bears.  Whenever bears are seen, lots of people arrive along with the park rangers; these are preventing the tourists for getting close to the bears and to get the traffic moving.


Elks and buffaloes are very common as well as pronghorn antelopes.  Most the mothers are feeding the young ones.  These, like young children are running around, jumping and tasting the grasses, the joy of new life.

Late one evening I ran into a female moose with cute yellow calf.  She was looking for a safe place for the calf to bed for the night.  She was at the edge of the forest looking along the tall grass, when she found the right spot, the calf when down.  I am told that the calf will not leave the spot until sunrise.