A Wildlife Adventure - UPDATE April 5, 2020

Trumpeter SwansTrumpeter swansFor date night last evening, Donna and I visited a place where the Trumpeter Swans, Canada Geese, and flocks of ducks from far around fly in for the night. It’s a bend in a river obscured from the road by trees, but the din of trumpeting swans and honking geese was loud—plus the sounds of water splashing from what I believe was bathing waterfowl. Donna made it exciting. While I was fussing with camera settings, she was spotting beavers here, mink there, and pair after pair of trumpeter swans (sometimes singles or triples) flying in. We were a little late for good light for pictures but got some for memory’s sake. We were late enough for the night shift to come on, and she saw two beavers emerge and swim away from their lodge. Between swan arrivals, a mink was foraging from a rock in the stream. It would dive in, come up and return to the rock, and dive in again. We couldn’t tell for sure what it was getting. Then, as we were looking the wrong direction holding the long lens, a pickup drove by, stopped and backed up fast to tell us a beaver was on the other side of the road up on the ice. Nice! It’s just how some people are around here. I clicked and saw that it was eating vegetation. Those are the first beavers I saw this year because the lakes are still frozen over. I’d never seen a mink foraging for food like it was—or a beaver eating vegetation sitting on ice—or heard the din of so many trumpeters. Seeing the swans flying over, I was amazed at the size of their feet—as they should be for bodies that weigh over 20 pounds.

BeaverBeaver Beaver eatingBeaver eats on ice TrumpeterTrumpeter swan


Today, I saw something else for the first time—a male pileated woodpecker feeding his mate a piece of suet. This beautiful day started with a Dark-eyed Junco posing where he could call attention to the blue sky and bright sun shining on the fresh snow.

Mink divingMink dives Pileated male feeding femalePileated male feeds female Dark-eyed juncoDark-eyed junco

 

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

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