Ted and Tasha - UPDATE April 20, 2019

Tasha got a bit of a rest being out with Ted today. When she first glimpsed him, she tore off. Shortly, she tried to come down in front again to check for bird seed but saw Ted and ran off a short way. Woodchuck baby with momWoodchuck baby with momTed was just his amiable self, doing his own thing, but I suspect he would welcome friendship from her. Taught by Bears caught the story in this 2:07 video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4fe5XZLO_o

GrackleGrackleTed had his own idea for fun. He took a dip on this 64°F day. I think it was his first. He looked excited as he splashed around in water that still had some ice on it as seen in this 29-second video Video of Ted Swimming (on Facebook).

Out the window at the WRI, woodchucks ruled. Up to three at a time were visible most of the day. One by one, they made their way up to the second floor deck for the usual: sunflower seeds, broccoli, and romaine lettuce. Back at their burrows, the big one that I believe is a pregnant female was carrying mouthfuls of grass into her burrow. I remember seeing that before, and it was a mother. I have to correct myself for thinking I might have seen a first-year woodchuck here some weeks ago. It was likely a yearling-not a newborn. Seeing young that early could happen in the southern US, but I have now checked my photos of a mother gathering grass for her burrow years ago to see which month it was—June 1981. I put in a picture from then to show the size we might see here in a month or so. The other pictures are from today, as usual.

The ice has melted around the beaver lodge across Woods Lake, which is one of the first lakes to open up around here each year. Dark spots on the ice are increasing.

Purple finchPurple finch Herring GullHerring Gull


WoodchuckWoodchuck Woods lakeWoods lake Woodchuck with grassWoodchuck with grass

The first purple finches and grackles of the year showed up today. The grackle looks evil but doesn’t mean anything by it. Many herring gulls are here now, but we’re having a hard time recognizing them even though some are catchers and obviously were here last year to learn that.

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