2002-02-15 - Blackheart has three cubs

We visited Blackheart on February 3, hoping to solve the mystery of how many cubs she has and what sexes they are, but it was windy and Blackheart kept them snugly tucked underneath her and barely acknowledged our presence.  We visited again today and now believe there are just three, that they include one male and one with a beautiful big white V on the chest.  Today was a great winter day: temperature in the 20's, low wind, partly sunny.   Blackheart was free to let her cubs be open to the winter air.  She sat up to nurse, which gave a clear view of three cubs with little room to hide a fourth, so we are pretty sure there are three cubs, which is the most common size of second litters in northeastern Minnesota.  First litters are often one or two.   We stayed about a half hour, watching Blackheart give excellent care.  The cubs nursed most of the half hour, and any brief cry was immediately addressed.