Ted, Spot, Deer, and Sharing - UPDATE March 8, 2020

With the temperature up in the 50’s F and making the snow softer, Ted came out again, but I couldn’t tell what he was doing. He was licking the snow and not biting it—maybe licking up snow fleas that get up on top of the snow this time of year. It’s typically the first bear food available—tiny as they are.Mink SpotMink Spot But they clump up to mate, making a good bite sometimes. Or maybe the melting snow was wet enough to lick up water. Then he raked leaves a bit, maybe again checking for snow fleas but not sniffing enough to be sure of that—maybe just checking to see if there were enough to rake into his bed. But then, he didn’t even rake in the straw the was outside his entry, so he wasn’t really into raking.

If they were snow fleas, I suspect the smell brought him out. Bears are good at finding patches of fallen leaves that have snow fleas on the bottoms of them, which stimulates raking like he was doing. If I’d been on the spot, I could have seen them. Sometimes you just have to read their minds—which you can tell I’m not good at. Taught caught this video of him about 4 ½ minutes long. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6HabIbEhLY

Pileated and Hairy FemalesPileated and Hairy FemalesThen there was Spot that we’re calling her now. I kind of liked Iota, too, which is Greek for the ninth letter of the alphabet. One of you noticed that her spot looks kind of like a little i, but Spot fits with Stripe and Streak and people kind of gravitated to that one, so I went along. It was nice to see the thought behind the names you sent. Why couldn’t I think of Spot myself? That’s why I have to ask for ideas—for names, for Bear Center ideas, I guess for everything.

Spot came a couple times today, including just now at 8:50 PM. Her mid-afternoon visit was in good light for a lucky click of her looking cute. She then disappeared into a hole that leads under the living room bay window where woodchucks used to go.

Lame BuckLame BuckFrom what I’ve seen, minks like mice best, then bologna, fish a distant third, and I don’t think that she has ever taken a little gob of ground beef, which was a surprise. I thought she’d like that, and maybe she would if I got the very lean grade. The reason I think she doesn’t like fat is that she has never touched the suet. One of these days, I’ll try chicken.

With the snow melting today, it uncovered a layer of sunflower seed hearts in the snow that the red squirrels have been burrowing to get.

With the temperature as high as 54°F, the suet was soft enough to make it extra popular. The female pileated woodpecker shared it with a female hairy woodpecker.

Late afternoon, a buck deer came that I’ve seen often, but this time he was limping. He stood around a lot instead of going off to browse, so I made sure he wasn’t hungry. The deep snow would make it doubly hard for him to go from bush to bush. I hope he gets better. He’s pretty safe here. We seldom see wolves in the yard.

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