Bears, a Treat, and an Error - UPDATE April 15, 2020

Yesterday, I saw my first bear of the year, and it was less than 5 miles from the WRI. Great Blue Heron, photo by Ellie HintzeGreat Blue Heron
photo by Ellie Hintze
Keeping my eyes open here and have a trail cam in action. I had to pull over to do an interview on my way home for date night. Off to my left about 150 yards a big male came into view and stood up to mark a power pole. Trying to put the phone down and roll down the window to take a picture, I was too slow. Just as I was putting the long lens out the window he went down to all fours and out of sight. As the phone conversation went on, he crossed the road about 3 football fields ahead of me. Again a hair too slow.

Eagle with Otter, photo by Ellie HintzeEagle with Otter
photo by Ellie Hintze
It’s the usual time of anticipation for bear-watchers around here. It’s the question that’s asked in every conversation.

Meanwhile, Tasha wanted a drink of water, not an icicle or a mouthful of snow. She explored the pond, finally went through the ice, and turned back in surprise for her drink as "Taught" caught in this 4-minute video .

For a treat, local photographer Ellie Hintze snapped amazingly clear action pictures in the same area that Donna and I go to see swans and beavers, etc. This wildlife student at Vermilion Community College used a kayak to get close and catch the action of a newly migrated great blue heron landing in a marsh and a bald eagle eating a dead otter. I don’t know how the otter died, but eagles are valuable members of the clean-up crew. You can see every feather as our national bird sits regally doing its job.

The beaver is one that Donna and I saw on last evening’s date night as it carried an underwater plant into this passageway to the lodge that holds at least four beavers, young and old. I suspect the beaver will share the plant with the family as I used to see in the beaver cams that were in the lodge across Woods Lake. Good stories of sharing, of interactions between beavers and muskrats that shared the lodge, and of a mink eating a muskrat in front of the camera. All things I did not know before the camera a couple decades ago. The family that is wintering there is still iced in.

Beaver lodge Woods LakeBeaver lodge Woods Lake Beaver with underwater plantBeaver with underwater plant

The error was on April 13. We said "saw a bear at her bear feeder" which should have been "saw a bear at her bird feeder". It is now corrected.

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