The winter of 2016/2017 has been a winter for the ages so far. This is great news for our reservoirs and water sources, but it is bad news for the deer herds throughout much of the west. 410 more words
The Weddell seal population of Erebus Bay, Antarctica, has been extensively studied for over 40 years. It’s one of the longest running studies of a long-lived mammal. Between September and October, Weddell seals give birth to one pup, and the pup will stay with the mother for 5-6 weeks. Photo by William Link, USGS. From the Department of the Interior blog, 2/13/17.
Nothing says love like these two great horned owlets snuggling in a heart-shaped hole. They nest earlier in the year than most birds, so great horned owl babies are ready to hunt when other wildlife young are easy prey. Photo from Grand Teton National Park by Jon LeVasseur. From the Department of the Interior blog, 2/13/17.
Moose calves nuzzle each other while posing for the camera. Female moose (called cows) give birth to 1-3 calves, with triplets being rare. At birth, calves weigh 28-35 pounds and pack on weight quickly — reaching 300+ pounds within five months. Photo from Fortymile Wild and Scenic River by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management. From the Department of the Interior blog, 2/13/17.
Not all couples show affection the same way. Clearly. Eagles mate for life, choosing the tops of large trees to build nests, which they typically use and enlarge each year. Nests may reach 10 feet across and weigh a half ton. Breeding bald eagles typically lay one to three eggs once a year. Learn more about bald eagles. Photo by Roy W. Lowe. From the Department of the Interior blog, 2/13/17.
Many birds are monogamous, but Laysan Albatrosses mate for life. Young birds search for a mate with elaborate courtship dances. Once they hit breeding age, Albatrosses breed their entire lives, hatching and caring for one chick at least every other year. Pictured here is Wisdom — the oldest living, banded, wild bird — and her current mate at their nest at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by Pete Leary, USFWS. From the Department of the Interior blog, 2/13/17.
This might look like a fight, but it’s part of the avocets’ complicated courtship ritual. After mating, avocets stand side by side with their bills crossed and the male’s wing draped over the female. National wildlife refuges, such as Bombay Hook in Delaware and Bear River in Utah, are great places for birding experiences. Photo by Julio Flego. From the Department of the Interior blog, 2/13/17.
Two elk smooch while enjoying the view at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. Every autumn, elk gather for the rut or annual mating season. Bull elk can be heard calling to females with a crescendo of deep, resonant tones that rise rapidly to a high-pitched squeal before dropping to a series of grunts. Remember to keep your distance when observing them. Mating wildlife enjoy their human-free personal space. Photo by Brent Willmert. From the Department of the Interior blog, 2/13/17.
Life sure has changed for us. We’ve gone from living with 1,362 people per square mile to … three. Maybe a more appropriate statistic is the number of big game per square mile, something only we humans would distract ourselves with. 210 more words