Two people told me they were concerned about my health because I have not been writing as many Updates as usual. I’m the same as ever, but sometimes I just can’t keep up with everything.
Paperwork includes data searches and scientific writing, writing a Foreword for a friend’s book, bringing Shadow’s Clan up to date, helping with the monthly financial report, and purchasing property that will benefit the research and eventually the Bear Center.
At the Bear Center, the staff and I are working to improve our exhibits and nature trails. In June, Popular Science Magazine selected the Bear Center as one of the top 50 sciences centers in the nation, and we want to continue in that path.
I have to admit, though, that I am distracted at times by the excitement of wildlife visits—the beautiful red fox that residents are calling Pretty Girl and by any critter that shows intriguing behavior or poses for pictures in good light.
One of the scientific papers is about bears as counterparts to great apes. Both are omnivores that use trees. Some bear species frequently build tree nests like great apes do, but black bears rarely do. However, I remember a black bear that climbed a tall jack pine (Pinus banksiana), broke branches, and arranged them into a nest that it returned to day after day to rest. That was also unusual for being a jack pine and not a white pine (Pinus strobus) that they greatly prefer for refuge, resting, and a place for cubs to engage in carefree play with each other.
Another instance of nest-building was on August 8, 2017, when we watched a young male black bear move to the outer reaches of a white pine branch and create a semblance of a nest by breaking and arranging small branches that he rested on for a few hours until the sun’s rays hit him directly and he moved to the shaded heart of the crown, never to use the nest again. The picture shows the ends of a couple broken branches during construction.
Thank you for all you do.
Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center
Wildlife Research Institute
145 West Conan Street
Ely, Minnesota 55731 USA