Nature Notes - UPDATE September 13, 2017

On this calm, humid, 80°F+ day, red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) pressed their abdomens to surfaces to cool off.Blue jay with almondsBlue jay with almonds Blue jays (Cyanocitta cristata) were active as they dodged the dashes of sharp-shinned hawks (Accipiter striatus)Red squirrel cooling downRed squirrel cooling down that are now coming through and as they stole beakfuls of almonds from the bears. Meanwhile, a juvenile red-headed woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus), only the second one seen on the property in 22 years, looked for bits of bear food. Ruby-throated hummingbirds (Archilochus colubris), the only kind we see here, are dwindling in number this last week. Today, we were down to one visit by a sole female, which made me click a picture in case it was the last one of the year. I think of September 15th as the usual date of the last sighting.

HummingbirdHummingbird Red-headed woodpeckerRed-headed woodpecker

At the Bear Center, Tasha wasn’t that impressed by the big cedar the people with heavy equipment made such an effort to set in place yesterday. She wandered by and gave a brief sniff to the base. I didn’t see her so much as look up at how big it was. She was looking for food, so an out-of-place tree didn’t really cut it for her.  Then Lucky came around. He likes to climb, and here was a new challenge. He climbed it!

On this warm day, Bear Educator Kathy Hoffman gave Ted a shower as she fed him peanuts. Ted expertly removes the shell in his mouth, separates the peanuts from the shell, ejects the shell, and swallows the peanuts, all in a flash.

The staff took some nice pictures of the bears today:
LuckyHolly Holly TashaHolly and Tasha TashaTasha
Ted at logTed at log Ted greets staffgreeting staff Ted after showerand after his shower


This time of year, we’re always ready to think the worst, so when we heard of two cubs with no mother, we worried. Not any more, though. Those cubs have been leaving their mother Daisy to forage on their own. Cubs remain hungry later into the fall than mothers, so mothers often want to rest while their cubs are good to go.

Thank you for all you do.

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