Bison Quest Adventure Vacation Blog

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November 19, 2017

Filed under: bison,ecology — bisonquest @ 6:30 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

There’s a reason that bison have such big heads (a bull head can weigh up to 200 lbs).  They can forage through 1- 2 feet of snow by using their head to push snow aside to reach any vegetation underneath.

Moving snow

Using their massive heads, bison can reach vegetation below snow.

Here Gigi is finding some green grass under the snow that grew as a result of our fall rains .

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“Just a bunch of Crows looking for a bunch of Sage Grouse” April 17, 2015

Okay, time for another “I Love My Life” segment.  I’ve had a blast these last couple of weeks looking for sage grouse leks on the Crow Reservation (Apsaalooke Nation) with some really fun people.   And it’s hard for me to look for anything wildlife without trying to do my amateur best to catch it on film.  I don’t have great equipment, but it’s good enough to balance on the edge of my car door and capture some of the awe inspiring wildlife behavior that I see in the world around me (and since youtube has that “we can fix your shakiness”, the grouse aren’t shaking around too much – just the words :)!.  And since we’re looking for (and finding) Greater Sage Grouse leks, that’s what I was able to film (thanks to the patience of the fellas I was with – one of which gave me this great quote that I used for the title).

 

And then comes the cautious coyote… February 21, 2013

While some critters come right in to the camera, others make really sure that it’s okay first. This series shows the cautious canid starting in, then going back out, coming in again and then going back out, over and over.  It took two nights before he finally actually ate at the bones.  Even then, he would eat, then back off, then carefully come back in.  This is how a little 20 lb canid lives in a hostile world.

Cautious coyote checks it out

Cautious coyote checks it out

Moves in...

Moves in…

Moves back out

Moves back out

Moves in again with a little more confidence

Moves in again with a little more confidence

and finally, eats.

and finally, eats.

 

As we continue to get bigger critters – add a golden eagle! February 4, 2013

Another young ‘un, this immature golden is happy to find such a handy snack!  First, he checks it over….

SUNP0245 (640x501)

Then he grabs a bite.  What a deal!

Then he takes a bite.  What a deal for a growing youngster.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Magpies, then Ravens and – a Goshawk on carrion! February 1, 2013

While carrion isn’t the usual for Goshawks, they’re certainly not above taking advantage of fresh goodies.  And when you’re a young of the year, now on your own, you are happy to take what you can get!

Immature Goshawk taking advantage of what's availalbe.

Immature Goshawk taking advantage of what’s availalbe.

 

Enter the Ravens. Getting bigger. January 30, 2013

ravens

Ravens replace the magpies at the “food” pile.

While the magpies are often the ones to find the goodies, the ravens are no slouches and are good at spotting food from above.  And if they see a flock of magpies poring over something on the ground, then they know there’s food around.

 

 

Snow stories December 7, 2012

Filed under: ecology,Musings,wildlife — bisonquest @ 10:26 am
Tags: , , ,

After hauling firewood into the house, making fires in each of our outbuildings, plowing roads, slogging through snow to feed the buffs, and sliding across the driveway on ice, some days I have a hard time finding the upside of a snowstorm.  So I take a walk through the meadow covered with a white blanket of snow, watch the white flakes drift to the ground, wrap myself in the hushed silence of a snow filled world, and let the peace of my seemingly empty world envelope me.  Such a peaceful world.

But tracks are all around me – unfolding tales of curiosity and survival, the hunter and the hunted.  They tell of coyotes looking for food, ermine following mice, squirrels scampering from tree to tree, a cottontail scurrying from haystack to chicken house (they know where the food is), dusky grouse nibbling the doug fir buds, even the flight of the great horned owl as her wings sweep the snow.  Activity everywhere I look.  Snow stories.  Reminding me that this isn’t really a peaceful world at all.

One of our resident cottontails who lives by the chicken house.  Safe from coyotes.  Bunnies aren't dumb.

One of our resident cottontails who lives by the chicken house. Safe from coyotes. Bunnies aren’t dumb.

 

 
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