First Bears! - UPDATE April 15, 2017

At 7:45 AM, there was a bear out the window. I went out to see who it was but it moved off no matter how nice I sounded. First bear of the seasonFirst bear of the seasonThen I heard a commotion as a bigger bear scrambled off the scale and tore off into the woods. The first one has a light muzzle. I didn’t see the second one except to see that he was big and scared. Bear season has officially started. I hope I see these bears again for the record.

I have to confess an error on the gulls. I didn’t look closely enough when I said Speckles was with Our Gull. He was with a look alike. It was Clear Eyes. Both have black near the orange spot on their bills. Some of the black is on the upper mandible with Our Gull. Clear Eyes has it only on the bottom mandible. I discovered my mistake today when Speckles and Clear Eyes came together. Speckles is noticeably larger, therefore the male. But Clear Eyes rules the roost. Speckles was the first to land and grab the lone piece of bologna. Clear Eyes landed and took it from his bill with no protest from Speckles. It happened too quick to grab the camera. I haven’t seen Our Gull for several days now.

I’m sure there is no way I can write updates on Tuesday and probably Wednesday next week. On Tuesday I’ll be doing the lecture in 135 Fisher Hall at Michigan Tech University at 7 PM and the next night, Donna and I might have a date night in Duluth on our way back.

Two pine martens came today. They acted like Mr. and Mrs. Marten but have dark faces. I don’t know if pine martens can look that different when they molt.

Pine marten femalePine marten female Pine marten malePine marten male

Another thump just now. The first bear is back calmly eating outside the window. I’d guess a three to five-year-old male with distinctive scars above his eyes, but I don’t recognize him. Someone in the neighborhood will know. I snapped a picture through the window.

It’s exciting to have bears back. They beat last year’s first bear by 4 days (April 19 last year). I hope I learn more about their identities and can write about them before we leave early Tuesday morning. No sign of Quill yet.

Thank you for all you do.

Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center