Tasha, Eagle, and the Easter Ham Bone - UPDATE April 17, 2017

Tasha had fun tumbling and squirming on the cedar pile today. I don’t know what it is, but something about cedar brings that out of bears. Braveheart and her cubs did that when they found a cedar pile here at the WRI.EagleEagle In fact, for something new for Black Bear Field Course participants this year, we’re going to have a big cedar pile to see which bears, young or old, male or female use it the most. For Ted and Lucky, the cedar pile seemed to bring out extra play. Here’s Tasha in a nearly 7-minute video. At the end, apparently played out, she is content to sit on a rock quietly. I don’t know what she was thinking about https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLrziOcHJwo

The Easter ham bone from yesterday was a hit today with gulls, crows, and a wet eagle that swooped down in the rain and stole the meaty bone from all of them. Before the eagle was done, the bone slipped away and fell from the branch. The eagle sat there looking down for a long time and finally said adios.

Out the window, the woodchuck stopped by for a dental examination.

Am putting out a lot of bear food—hopefully more than the one or two bears can eat. If Quill would come, I want there to be plenty left over for him.

WoodchuckWoodchuckIf Lily Fans are in the audience tomorrow night at 7 PM, I’ll tell the names of the bears we all know as I show their video clips. The clips show the early behaviors of bears we later knew as trusting and trustworthy research partners. The point of those videos is to show that behaviors I used to fear as threats turned out to be harmless ritualized displays that too often get bears shot out of misunderstanding.

Another video will show Lily, Hope, and Faith trespassing into June’s territory and getting caught. June looks pretty ferocious and sounds like she means business. Then she backs down the tree she ran them up, scent-marks a tree, and leaves when she discovers that the trespassers are her own daughter and grand-daughters.

I’m looking forward to the talk and especially the question and answer period afterward. It starts at 7 PM, free, in 135 Fisher Hall at Michigan Tech University in Houghton, Michigan.

The talk shows the true meanings of black bear vocalizations and body language that are often misinterpreted. The more people know about black bears, the more willing they are to coexist with them. People will not coexist with animals they fear.

What black bears have shown us in my 50-year career (as of June 24 of this year) contradicts much of what people have long believed. The photos and videos tell an almost unbelievable story.

I much appreciate the opportunity the Michigan DNR is giving me to come to my home state and give this talk in the area where my research began back in 1967. It also is the general area where Dr. Terry DeBruyn followed up on my close-up research methods, did one of the best bear studies in the world, and wrote one of the best books on bear behavior ever written. It also is the area where the first major study of black bears was done by Dr. Albert W. Erickson back in the 1950’s. In 1967, he took me on as his grad student and gave me almost unbelievable opportunities to begin what has become my life work. I actually began working as his grad student in fall 1968 after he enabled me to prepare for the grad student position a year earlier. So it means a lot to me. I have no idea how many people will come.

Thank you for all you do.

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