Ted, Bucky, A Dainty Bite - UPDATE March 4, 2018

A Lily Fan caught a nice picture of Ted sleeping today. In this winter of a lot of activity, it will be interesting to compare weight loss with other sleepier years.TedTed

I think I know how Bucky knows when squirrels are gone so he can appear and eat. I think he lives under the second floor deck. His entry place today was just over the edge of the deck behind him in the picture. It is less than a foot from the date mash block he ate from twice on this above-freezing day when the block was softer. He has date mash in his mouth in the picture and the block is next to him. He wasn’t interested in sunflower seeds that I saw.BuckyBucky

A chickadee pecked apart a sunflower seed and showed the size bites it was taking.

Deer chewing cudDeer chewing cudI don’t usually see deer lying down out the window, but two were doing that today. I remember from the old days of walking with deer that they liked to rest where there was visibility around so they could detect predators—like the two were doing today. Her mouth is open because she’s chewing her cud.

Questions:

  1. Did grizzly bear range ever extend east to MN?
    Answer: yes, I read that it extended into the prairie areas of western Minnesota. If anyone has other information, I’d like to know as much about that as I can.

  2. What is the earliest age that you have seen cubs swim by themselves?
    Answer: That’s a hard one. I haven’t seen much of that. A man told me he saw a mother and cub cross a river soon after they left their den in April and that the cub climbed on the mother’s back.

Chickadee eating seedChickadee eating seedAbout mink having collapsible rib cages, I got this email today from the Director of Bear Conservation in the UK:

“I'm 99% sure that the American mink (Neovison vison) does NOT have a collapsible rib cage. Like other mustelids it's much slenderer and thinner than its fur makes it look and that's how, in common with polecats, stoats, etc. they get through small spaces. I think collapsible rib cages are a rodent "thing" not mustelid.”

Also on that topic, Peggy dug up the update with an animated gif of a mink diving down a space one and one eighth inches wide at https://www.bearstudy.org/website/updates/daily-updates/3292-education-lilypad-picnic-slinky-mink-update-january-31-2017.html It looks impossible, but its fur collapses down and it makes it without a pause.

Thank you for all you do.

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

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