Natures Whistler

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If you’ve ever hiked near a high mountain talus slope, you may have heard the high pitched whistle of the Yellow-bellied Marmot or Rock Chuck as it’s called here in the west.  It makes its home by burrowing beneath the boulders and whistles as a warning to the rest of the colony when danger approaches.

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Spring Time in the Bitterroot Mountains of Idaho

The winter of 2016-2017 in the Bitterroot Mountains was a lot harder on wildlife than first thought.img_8468

Close to record snowfall made foraging for food tough for some animals.

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The first signs of spring in 2017 showed that some, like this white tail doe barely survived starvation.

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However, with spring comes the birth of new life and it seemed to come on with a vengeance.

Cdy00026Elk calves were numerous and were always looking for a quick meal.

Cdy00031 Mothers were always accommodating.  Elk calves, on the average must gain over 4 pounds per day before weaning and the largest proportion of this weight gain is from its mothers milk.

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Even the deer are showing promising signs of a come back.

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In the spring, what mothers have to watch out for is the predator and in this case the black bear, who is always in pursuit of deer fawns and elk calves.

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The bears keen sense of smell will keep him close to his prey.

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During the first few weeks of an elk calf or fawn’s life, when left alone will lie flat and motionless as an ancestral defensive strategy from danger.

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I am blessed to be able to experience these adventures and share these amazing photographs.