Faces out the Window, a Memory, and a Mistake - UPDATE December 7, 2018

Highlights today as I did paperwork at my desk were a handsome gray fox looking at me at my desk at dusk, and a female mink doing the same after dark. Both are lit by the deck light. The fox spent most of its time alert to other stimuli. Mink femaleMink femaleThe mink is still a bit wary and quick. I was lucky to get these two shots which are by far the best looks I’ve had of her. Since seeing what I thought was a missing right eye on a female mink some days ago, I’ve not seen a female with a missing eye. I don’t know if that female had the eye closed or if there are several females and I just haven’t seen that one again. This one definitely has two sparkling eyes.

Mink femaleMink femaleSomeone sent me this 3½-minute video memory of Blackheart and her cubs Braveheart, Valiant, and Shylow that the BBC filmed on March 14, 2002. The host on film there is Steve Leonard of Steve Leonards’ Extreme Animals. In the USA, it aired on Animal Planet in addition to the BBC outlets in the UK and around the world. It brings back good memories of Blackheart who a hunter shot in 2005. I’ll have a lot on Blackheart in the book, including my interactions with her at that den that are written in my diary. I’m looking forward to seeing Braveheart in the spring. So many stories. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8g3CpjtHHg Gray FoxGray FoxNot all the statements that were inserted later by the narrator are correct. They are correct according to the knowledge of the time, but we all now know that bears urinate all winter long and eat snow, etc. The BBC is the most accurate documentary creator that I have ever known.

But everyone can make a mistake, and that includes me. The person who thought it was his hand in the picture later told me (today) that he was wrong. Later today, I got an email letting me know whose hand it really was. It is the hand of a modest moderator who has gained the trust of a red-breasted nuthatch she named Nutmeg. It always feels good to have a bird land on your hand and show trust and acceptance as it looks around for other danger before grabbing a seed. It is the same here, feeling good to see animals watching me calmly from outside the window and going about their business.

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