Spanky View Fixed - UPDATE March 1, 2021

SpankySpanky the Black Bear

We wondered why the buffering came on so much! Mauro guessed why. Snow and ice. The build-up of it threw the satellite dish off a bit. Today, he and a partner checked, pulling a little way into the driveway and stopping about 100 feet from the den. They got out quietly and didn’t slam any doors. They talked in hushed voices as they aimed the satellite dish precisely at the satellite 25,000 miles away. The small adjustment increased the upload of bandwidth 4-fold (from 1 MB to 4MB per second), eliminating ‘Ringo.’ And they did this just in time for us all to have steady picture with no hesitation as the den watchers begin recording time sequences in the next few days. Way to go team!Doe and fawnDoe and fawn

A few days ago, I heard what I thought was a snow plow and drove over to see if the road and driveway had been plowed. It hadn’t. Then I heard voices and drove over to see if anyone was at the den. I could see from the road that no one was. The secret was the very sensitive microphone on the den cam. It can pick up voices on the road, and the snow plow ‘noises’ were something else that fooled me because sometimes the sounds come through strong and sometimes not so strong. They are the sound of Spanky breathing deeply. I don’t know what, besides breathing deeply, makes the sounds and hum come through louder at times. Another mystery for the team.

Out the window, a mother deer showed a moment of caring for her three quarter grown 9-month-old fawn.Raven flying awayRaven flying away

Then a raven came for suet. But this raven doesn’t look so much for the suet as it does for me at my desk. If I’m there and especially if I move to grab the camera, it flies. But today, I got the camera on it just as it flew. I don’t get many raven pictures. These birds that are so tame in Ely are the wariest birds I see here at the WRI. Chickadee with spotChickadee with spotI have easier opportunities with eagles with their eagle eyes.

Chickadees are favorites with their easy trust. Today, an easily identified one with a white feather on top of its head and other whitish feathers over its right eye landed just outside the window. I clicked an ID picture in case any stories develop around this individual.

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