You may remember Tiny, the biggest male black bear I've ever seen, who rules our neck of the woods during mating season (usually around June). We caught our first glimpses of him on 5/25, when he trekked many miles marking every black bear "whammy" tree in the area. I have video cams at most of those trees so I got some fun footage plus some still photos.
He came back a few days later to discover that all his amorous messages had gone unanswered, except for a response from a bobcat who leaped onto a tree that Tiny had marked. Then, the bobcat rolled around at the foot of the tree, leaving his own scent mark.
It is fascinating to me that different species respond to each other's scent messages. I've learned from experience to go look when Shyla marks a certain spot. On more than one occasion, I've found that she had the audacity to pee over top of a mountain lion's scrape! I guess that it's good to listen to your dog if you want to know what's been happening in the forest around you.
When Tiny returned to the most important marking tree to discover that no sows had left replies and that a BOBCAT had answered his messages, he seemed to get mad. He attacked my camera, believe it or not! The camera endured the attack but Tiny left it pointed the wrong way after he finished sniffing and clawing it.
The compilation of these videos reinforces for me the fact that fascinating animal communication is happening in the forest around us, although we usually have no idea of what is being said. You can watch the video here or at Youtube.
I still haven't captured any trail cam footage of the sow and cubs who were in "my" den this winter. Very soon, I will go peek to see if they are still near the den. If they're not, I will bring home all the footage of mom and tiny cubs from the winter and spring.
Have a Beary Happy Tuesday!