Wildlife and Bear Courses - UPDATE November 26, 2018

I had a great Thanksgiving and a lot of fun bonding with the grandkids and seeing surprising athleticism from kids 5, 6, 7, and 9.Deer at corn feederDeer at corn feeder

Today was back to work, which included putting out food for more wildlife. We covered the yard with alfalfa and filled the bins with corn. Minutes later, we had the first taker. In the picture, this doe has a strand of alfalfa that is hanging low as she watches a furtive fox. Then she visited the bin of corn. In the foreground of that picture are a couple of the albums that help us identify bears which we won’t see for awhile now. It's deer time now. Word will spread about the alfalfa and corn, and I suspect a crowd of deer will form to compete for it. We’ll see.

Gray foxes and mink visited as usual. I feel a little sorry for the foxes that are often shivering in the cold, and it has been mostly above zero. This is the northern edge of their range now, which suggests they have a hard time in winter here. Seeing the friendly fox shivering is one of the reasons I give it a helping hand with bologna, sunflower seeds, and today ground beef. We’ll see how the ground beef compares to bologna. He hasn’t taken any yet, and the little female mink selected bologna over a ground beef ball that you can see just behind her as she leaps away in her usual hurry.

I don’t know much about the social system of flying squirrels and if they remain bonded throughout the year, but some of the squirrels chase each other and some like to eat so close they are touching like this pair.

Deer with alfalfaDeer with alfalfa Flying squirrelsFlying squirrels Mink femaleMink female

Seven of the 8 Black Bear Field Study Courses are still available. Bears due to have cubs in 2019 are Lily, Ellie, Donna, Braveheart, Shannon, Ursula, Star, Wendy, and Daisy. To learn more about the field courses, either go to www.bearstudy.org and click on "Field Study Courses" in the green header stripe or click here: www.bearstudy.org/website/field-study-courses.html. You will find photos, information, comments from past participants, a brochure you can download and course registration.

Thank you for all you do.
Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center