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Ted’s First Walk and Weight - UPDATE May 12, 2022

Rose breasted Grosbeak femaleRose-breasted Grosbeak femaleAt the Bear Center, which is now open Thursday to Monday each week 10AM to 4PM, (after May 27 it will be 9-6 daily) Ted took his first walk. He looked a little arthritic but walked right along to get on the scale for a treat and a weight—518 pounds (235 kg). That’s where the big action was today. https://www.facebook.com/NorthAmericanBearCenter/videos/374262631301630

At the WRI it was a rainy desk day but still exciting to me what was happening outside the window. It is nice to see my old acquaintance herring gulls showing up—up to their old tricks. I say old tricks because they can live some 30 years with the record being 49. They know the program but each has its own way of getting me to throw bologna. Gull 8 and 4, named for the two dots on its iris as if on a clock (visible in the picture), comes to the window and pecks the glass repeatedly until I get up and move toward the door, which tells her she should fly to the feeding spot where she catches the bologna in the air. I don’t hand-feed them anymore because they peck too hard when they miss their bologna target.

Hummingbird maleHummingbird maleAnother gull just stands at the window and looks in until I get up and the gull does about the same as 8 and 4.

Another gives one very hard peck on the door glass which gets me moving.

Another stands in the feeding spot and looks at me from maybe 10-12 feet away, looking for action.

Another looks hungry like that but is not a catcher. It trusts me to walk up and place the bologna near it to take it.

GullGullThere’s more but I don’t know what in their evolution would tie them to a human feeder like me. I just know it makes me feel good to be appreciated.

Same with the deer. It used to be that they’d run when I went out onto the second floor deck crunching snow above their heads. Some still run, but most now look up with pleading eyes and start jockeying for position knowing food will soon be falling from the sky. But that behavior is waning now that grass is growing fast, although a week or more later than usual.

Purple finchPurple finchWhat was most exciting out the window was two new birds of the year as well as a purple finch posing perfectly during a period of brightness between showers. One of the two new birds was this ruby-throated hummingbird—a male, who generally show up first. He didn’t pose well for the picture but he got his picture taken for the record. There was no bright sun to light his red ruby throat. The other new bird was a female rose-breasted grosbeak that won the large beak contest of the day. The grosbeak is only twice the weight of a purple finch but has about triple the beak.

Shadow came by one of the feeders’ homes last evening at 8:45 PM and walked on. Bears, too, are eating grass like Katrina was wolfing down a few days ago, and they are being seen less at the feeding stations. Shadow’s son Spanky is here, though. I haven’t seen Chloe and the yearlings for a couple days and wonder if she might be off laying down scent trails already. Only one 2-year-old male has been coming, and he is climbing a white pine, maybe for the night.

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

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