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Spanky. Turtle Eggs, Cicadas, Tent Caterpillars - UPDATE June 11, 2021

Spanky with femaleSpanky with female

After being absent from the area for a couple weeks, Spanky showed up yesterday with a female.

Seeing 4-year-old Lucy (great great granddaughter of Shadow) with two male cubs a couple days ago, reminded us that last year at about this time (June 9, 2020) she was mating with 3-year-old Wendell, son of Ursula and grandson of Shadow.Doe black muzzleDoe with black muzzle

Speaking of Lucy, she might have taught us something this year on June 9. She dug up a painted turtle nest where we had watched the mother turtle lay eggs 3 days before. Painted turtle laying eggsPainted turtle laying eggsWhat made it interesting was that Lucy ate egg after egg without leaving a single shell. Usually we see empty shells where a fox has eaten turtle eggs. We don’t know if bears always eat the whole egg or if this was something that just Lucy does. We’ll be watching.

The calmest, most accepting deer we know around here is this doe with a black muzzle. She is the only deer I’ve ever seen with a muzzle like that.

Turtle nest dug upTurtle nest dug upWith cicadas making news in the eastern United States, people are wondering where all the bears have disappeared to, if they are busy eating these suddenly plentiful insects. I have to say I don’t know because I’ve never studied bears during an outbreak. However, since so many animals and birds do eat cicadas, I suspect these fat insects will be a big part of their diet. I suspect that it will rival the gluttony we saw during tent caterpillar outbreaks. Four-year-old Terri ate 25,192 of them on June 22, 1990. Looking to hear more about bears and cicadas during the outbreak.

Thank you for all you do.
Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center

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