No Bears for Two Nights - UPDATE October 18, 2017

No bear was seen here since 5:58 AM on October 16. The team went to bed earlier last night, though, about 12:30 AM. They have been staying up until 2 or 3 AM to get final weights on bears to compare with next spring.QuillQuill

Pine marten femalePine marten femaleMeanwhile, the team has been out collecting trail cams and starting to go through the hundreds, maybe thousands, of pictures triggered by branches blowing in the wind, squirrels, deer, and maybe bears. Lorie Kennedy and Mike Johnson are running that program and looking eagerly at each card.

They may have solved a mystery. When we saw Quill this past May 24, we wondered how he could weigh 89 pounds, which is 26 pounds heavier than when he left here weighing 63 pounds a little after midnight the early morning on November 18, 2016. He didn’t usually go past the Gray FoxGray FoxQuill House we set up, but one time he did. The trail cam caught him passing by his (unused) house with his upturned nose at 3:11 PM on May 10, 2017. He had been coming here for weeks before we got a weight on him! Thanks also to Peggy Stubbs for her care of Quill last fall and for putting fresh batteries in that trail cam to see if it would capture a picture of him. We are fortunate at the Bear Center and at the Wildlife Research Institute to have dedicated people whose passion is to learn and share the truth about bears as total volunteers in addition to the dedicated staff.

TamaracksTamaracksAt another den, the den that June and Jewel used over and over, the trail cam caught 3 wolves passing by it in the dark on January 29, 2017. The third wolf is a little hard to see passing by farther back in the shadows. None of them paid any attention to the den occupied by Jewel and her three male yearlings Zac, Caleb, and Brennan.

White-crowned sparrows are passing through along with white-throated sparrows and dark-eyed juncos. The photos are of an adult white-crowned with a white crown and a juvenile white-crowned with its tan crown.

We haven’t seen the male marten yet, but the female continues to come. She is used to seeing people. If I step out on the deck for a picture, she looks but then goes about her business. Same with one of the gray foxes (pictured) who responds to my noises but then is right back to hunting mice in the grass or sampling the date mash. Another gray fox ran at the first glimpse of me.

White crowned sparrow adultWhite-crowned sparrow adult White crowned sparrow juvenileWhite-crowned sparrow juvenile

Out checking on dens on this beautiful day, most of the aspen leaves were down but the golden spires of tamaracks were at their maximum color.

Thank you for all you do.

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