Cold Moon and Thoughtful Looks - UPDATE December 12, 2019

The full Cold Moon rose at dusk on December 11 when the temperature was minus 7 degrees F and Cold MoonCold MoonI snapped this picture at 4:54 PM Bear Time—six hours and 18 minutes before the moon was officially at its fullest and brightest at 11:12 PM.

When birds and mammals look at me through the window, they often look thoughtful, like this blue jay, and I wonder what they’re thinking. If they don’t immediately flee, I feel honored, the same as I feel when a chickadee or red-breasted nuthatch trusts me enough to land on my hand. Blue jays are particularly wary, but when I’m sitting at my Blue JayBlue jaydesk like I was when I snapped this picture, they are a little more accepting. Having seen so many wary blue jays, you can imagine how surprised I was to see them coming closer to people on behind-the-scenes tours at the Bear Center than I’d ever see here at the Wildlife Research Institute. And chickadees there land on an open hand even when there is no food. I wish I could read their minds.

I have always especially wished I could read bears’ minds. Learning the meanings of their vocalizations helped with that and helped me know how to behave to gain their trust. Always intriguing.

I learned something about these updates I didn’t know before—that the pictures don’t get bigger when you click on them in an email. To see the pictures blown up, you have to go to the website.

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