Ted’s Last Supper, Snow - UPDATE November 10, 2018

The last I heard, Ted didn’t come out for dinner yesterday. If he didn’t come out today, this 6-minute video from November 8 Gray fox in snowGray fox in snowmight show his last supper of the year and maybe his last pat on the head from Sharon. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03jh3J-hCFw

Snowy frozen woods lakeSnowy frozen woods lakeOut the window at the WRI, Woods Lake is frozen and snowy white. The beaver lodge on the far shore toward the left is also white, making it less noticeable than when the lake was still open a couple days ago.

A gray fox walking in the sunshine showed how deep the snow is. Another gray fox became the first I’ve ever seen up on the railing. Gray foxes are climbers—able to climb trees.

ChickadeeChickadeeThe female pileated woodpecker is a regular visitor now.

A black-capped chickadee showed its wings to the camera in a different way—raised as it takes off rather than cupped under for landing.

No bear tracks in the snow. I suspect they are done for the year. The last bear this year left at 10:15 PM on November 1.

Pileated femalePileated femaleBack in 2015, Braveheart’s son Stratton set a record for the latest bear I knew of in the community here. Stratton was an unusually independent cub, often coming into one of the feeding stations near here alone. He kept coming after all the other bears had called it a year. He left at 7:15 PM on November 11.

In 2016, another lone cub, Quill, set a later record—12:07 AM on November 18.

Gray fox on railingGray fox on railingWe don’t know why some cubs are on their own staying up late in the year. Stratton’s mother Braveheart was still alive, and still today. We suspect Quill’s mother, who we called Shy Mom is alive, too. I say suspect because we recognized Shy Mom mostly by her cubs and her skittish behavior, not by any markings. We never saw her well enough to reliably identify her without her cubs. Since then, a shy female with the same behavior has been around. It could be Shy Mom, but we’re not sure. Some things remain a mystery.

Give MN is just 5 days away.

Thank you for all you do.

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