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Cold and Ted - UPDATE January 30, 2019

On this cold day that everyone has been dreading as the polar vortex swirls south, I wondered how Ted was handling it. I saw a video from a 4 days ago that was caught by Taught. Ted on 1-26-19Ted on 1-26-19The temperature was a little below zero. Ted didn’t seem stressed. He calmly raked straw and then plunked his head nose-first into it to rest, probably so he could re-breathe some of his exhale to conserve heat and water. I didn’t see or hear anything about what he did today, but I suspect he did more of that, considering that the day started out at an official minus 35°F and got up only into the minus teens.

One eyed Jack 8-20-17 M.FitzpatrickOne-eyed Jack
8-20-17 M.Fitzpatrick
I somehow came across a nice picture of One-eyed Jack that Margaret Fitzpatrick took a couple years ago on August 20, 2017 during a Black Bear Field Study Course. He is one of the top bears I always look forward to seeing. He is probably over 20 because he was already pretty big when we first started seeing him back in 2003 and he now has some white hairs on his face like Ted does. Even though he can’t see what is happening to the left of him, he is calm and confident—trusting—of people on that side of him. If I lie down on his left side and reach up to take his heart rate by hand or with a stethoscope, he turns his head far enough to see me with his right eye and goes back to what he was doing. Practically no one sees this bear away from here, defying the usual conventional wisdom about what a bear will do when it loses some of its fear of people. Thinking about the many times I homed in on the radio signals of females in mating seasons and how Jack was with them, I looked up instances like that during 2003 to 2008. Popular One-eyed Jack was with Blackheart on May 23,2003; June on June 13, 2003 (before Big Harry became her beau); Dot on May 26, 2004; Braveheart on June 24, 2004; Blackheart on May 27, 2005; Braveheart on May 22, 2006, and Braveheart on May 21-26, 2008. That last date was when the BBC filmed Jack and Braveheart copulating for the Bearwalker documentary. He and Lumpy are the big males in the big, noisy fight over Midge in 2006. Gentle One-eyed Jack is one of the top bears I look forward to seeing in spring and summer and maybe the top bear that course participants come back specifically to see. He gets into people’s hearts.

SiskinSiskin ChickadeeChickadee

It was a beautiful, sunny day today, so I couldn’t help clicking a couple pictures as a chickadee and a siskin flew in for food that they very much wanted on this cold day.

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