Spanky, Hazelnuts, Nighthawks - UPDATE August 21, 2018

Three-year-old Spanky got himself bitten on the butt—probably by Bow’s daughter Nancy (3) who has three cubs. SpankySpanky 6pm 8/21We saw Nancy chase him two nights ago. The next morning, we photographed the open bite wound about 2 inches in diameter on his right hind quarter. A veterinarian said this shallow wound will heal without intervention. The neighborhood is watching over him and sent a picture of him at 6 PM today.

HazelnutsHazelnutsAnother piece of the puzzle fell into place today about why we are seeing a good number of bears in a year that began with great promise of a bumper crop of bear foods. The hazelnuts (Corylus cornuta) the group found today were empty shells with holes in them. Filbertworms (Cydia latiferreana) burrow into hazelnuts, eat them, and burrow out 2-4 weeks later, leaving empty shells and hungry bears. This reminds me of 1989 when Terri and her cubs Spanky's woundSpanky's wound 8/19Gerry and Mary were faced with empty hazelnuts. They left this area and traveled 41 miles to Lake Superior to eat good hazelnuts for the next month before returning home in early September. The photo shows the exit hole in an empty hazelnut. Next to it are the shell parts of a similarly empty hazelnut.

The fall bird migration began a couple days ago with hundreds of nighthawks (Cordeiles minor) taking wing and flying over. They leave this area earlier and migrate farther than most birds, wintering as far as Argentina and Uruguay.

Thank you for all you do.

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