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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Tiny the Black Bear - Marking and Mischief

There's so much going on at home that I'm going to step away from the desert trip for a moment to give you a bear update.

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!

24 comments:

  1. HA! Sometimes someone does leave us all a message we would rather not get!

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  2. Tiny must think the camera is scaring away all the bear chicks:) Love, love, love the video.

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  3. You really live in an amazing place with all these beautiful animals!!

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  4. You need to find Tiny a girl friend. He is acting like Kayne West when he sees paparazzi

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  5. Oh Tiny. hehehhehe Momma says soon big guy soon the girls will return.
    Blessings,
    Buddy

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  6. I couldn't help but imagine how that would feel if he were mad at me and knocking me around. It kinda freaked me out. It is so great that we can watch this stuff from the safety of our little computer rooms. Thanks so much.

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  7. What great Tiny footage!! The "camera attack" gave a great perspective on just how powerful he is!!

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  8. What a fascinating few weeks. It's so good to see Tiny looking so well, I hope he finds a few lady friends soon for the sake of the camera ha ha. How funny is the Bobcat too, love the way he played with a rock before rolling around on the floor. Fabulous video, thanks for sharing.
    Kiersten

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  9. your post is so fascinating, i just loved every word and pic and the video. amazing to me, i have never seen a bear not in captivity. what a beautiful bear he is and now i am wondering why he got the camera since he had been on all those trees... amazing video...keep them coming.

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  10. No dates yet sweet bear
    Lily & Edward

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  11. Well, I would say that Tiny was a "bit" disappointed. Wow, is he big and strong! I love how you capture it all on those trail cams!

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  12. Tiny is not so tiny! Hope some sow responds to his message soon.

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  13. That is as up close and personal as I ever hope to be with a bear! Found it funny how he went after the camera. Thank you for sharing!

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  14. Loved the photos and the video. As for the scent marking, the competition is tough out there and it's a must or musk to leave your calling card. BOL

    Aroo to you,
    Sully

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  15. Tiny sure doesn't like your cam! What a temper!

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  16. Pee mail! Still laughing about that.

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  17. So funny that he took it out on the camera. Maybe the sows are all busy with young, or just too hungry to worry about the males yet! Great footage.

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  18. If only you hoomans could smell what we smell! We love those trail cams!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

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  19. It is fascinating. I knew that dogs could read pee mail but I didn't know bears and bobcats can too.

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  20. What a video! That Tiny is a beautiful bear
    hugs
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

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  21. Tiny is huge!!!! We love the video!
    love
    tweedles

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  22. At first, I was surprised that the vigorous marking didn't break the top of those little trees....then you got to the third tree! I imagine those little trees thinking, "Oh no, here comes that bear again! Has it been a year already?!"
    I love the bobcat :)

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  23. Wow! Thanks for sharing! I'm glad the camera survived Tiny's fury! The bobcat was super cute--I loved how agile he was hopping up onto that tree.

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