Sunday, July 31, 2011

Coyote pups and other wildlife

Each day in Yellowstone is an opportunity for wildlife sightings, spectacular scenery, new knowledge of a complex ecosystem, friendships, and adventures. Here are just a few of my wildlife sightings.Coyote pups playing. Their den was near the road and I watched them for a couple of days. Eventually their mother moved them. I don't know if it was that they were big enough and it would have happened anyway, or if it was people leaving the roadside and getting too close. This little bison calf was following its cow which easily stepped over the downed trees. The calf had to work at it, with a couple belly landings along the way.

This male Blue Grouse regularly strutted his stuff at Lake Butte Overlook. Long after mating season should have concluded, to give the chicks time to mature, he was still thumping (a deep sound which seems too large for this chicken sized bird), fanning his tail feathers, pumping up his chest and showing the red chest patches. Even if it was too late to impress females of his species, he impressed me and folks on my tours.

This is a White Pelican photo from last year. I didn't get any good shots this year. The Yellowstone River was swollen with snow melt and I failed to get photos I wanted....more Cutthroat trout jumping the rapids and White Pelicans fishing for them.

On one of my days off I hiked Elephant Back, a peak behind the Lake Lodge views of Yellowstone Lake. This view of the north shore shows where I live. The small light line in the lower portion is the road leading into the employee housing area where I live. You can barely see some bright spots to the left of the road. Those are RVs in the employee RV park. Not a bad place to live!

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