Bears, Gulls, etc. - UPDATE August 12, 2017

After a day of typing at the computer, I was ready for excitement.  The phone rang.  It was a bear feeder who lives miles away and has a beautiful property with many big white pines.  20170812 Annie cubsAnnie and her 5 cubsHe has helped keep track of many of Shadow’s descendents that we never see around here.  “Annie is here,” he said with urgency. Annie is not a clan bear, but she has five cubs, which I’ve never personally seen before.  We have a famous photo from New England of a mother with five cubs, and it is beautiful, but we’d also like to have a photo like that from here in the study area.  I raced over, but another bear had showed, and it had scared 3 of Annie’s cubs away.  AnnieAnnieAll I got was a parting shot of Annie that is interesting because it shows how her mammaries go from big to small from front to rear.  The front set are what the cubs squabble over and go to the dominant cubs.  If it is only two cubs, they’ll each take a side, giving each two.  One or the other cub will finish up on the rear set.  With five cubs, I don’t know how they would divvy them up, but they would likely settle the issue while still in the den.  As usual, there are size differences in Annie’s cubs, as you can see in the picture the landowners sent, but we don’t have them identified yet, and we don’t know who has which nipple or nipples.  Annie is not a big female but apparently is making enough milk for her five.  She was a yearling in 2006, which makes her 12 this year.  Once she started having cubs in 2008, she had them every other year until last year when she showed up without any.  There was a big forest fire in her area, which makes us wonder if something might have happened to them.

Hummingbird maleHummingbird male Hummingbird maleHummingbird male Herring gull catching bolognaHerring gull catching bologna

My good lens came back yesterday, so I couldn’t help but test it when a hummingbird came to the feeder today.  It quickly focused when the bright male hovered for a split second.  Nikon did a good job.

A moment of fun is when one of the catcher gulls stops by.  Two gulls are catchers.  A third dodges when I toss a slice of bologna.  The photo shows one of the catchers spreading its wings and coming down after stretching up for the catch.

Thank you for all you do.

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