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Monday, May 14, 2018

Bears marking and sniffing!

Our bears have started their active season more slowly than usual. A number of our usual bears haven't shown up yet, leaving me feeling a little worried about whether they're okay. The most notable one is Milton, one of our two big dominant males. I am watching closely for all of them.

In the meantime, some bears who I don't recognize have been active. Do you see the reflection of this bear in the pool?

Nearby on that same day, a male bear was busy marking trees. This is the same tree that Tiny marked a few weeks ago. This bear is not as big as Tiny.

He went straight uphill to another marking site that is also a new site for a cam for me. You can see a bent over tree in the next photo. I noticed that there was fur stuck to the bark on the downward facing side of the trunk.

My cam told me why!
As you can see, I set the cam to be pointed too low. I expected that the bears were marking the tree by walking under it and rubbing their back on it as they walked. I was wrong. They were actually standing up on their hind limbs to mark it just like they mark other trees. I fixed the cam after I saw the footage of this first bear.

Then, the bear walked a few miles by an unknown route, marking many trees along the way. When he stood up to mark one of them that had a cam close to it, I knew for certain that he wasn't Milton. There was no white patch on his chest.

Back at the leaning tree, a smaller female bear came along to check out the tree a few days after the male marked it.

She delighted me when she stood up to sniff up where the male had left his mark. Look at her round belly after a full winter without eating. She reminds me a bit of a bear who I called "Dot" who died a couple of years ago. I'll tell you her full story in a future post. I still miss Dot who brightened so many days for me with her feisty way of living. I believe that she was going to have her first cubs in the den the next winter.

I have put together a short video of this bear activity. You can watch it here or at Youtube.

16 comments:

  1. The size always amaze me but they are gorgeous!

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  2. that first bear in the video sure marked that tree on every limb on every side. my favorite is the standing up bear sniffing the tree.

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  3. What a great post...love the last photo of the bear standing.
    Today I saw an article on line about a bear in Grand Junction, CO
    For some reason a 5 year old girl went out into her yard in the wee hours to investigate a noise. I guess she startled the bear and it drug her off but dropped her when the mother came out screaming.
    Lots of stitches but she will be all right. Geeez a 5 years old sneaking of outside. They might want to get an alarm for their doors.
    Hugs madi and mom

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    1. Yes, that's a terrible situation. Alarms on the doors would be a good idea.

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  4. The word "lumbering" came to my mind, then one frolicked off, that changed my words, almost quite lithe, they are all such magnificent animals, and the bendy tree, what a fascination with it, maybe bare bark, or a new one to mark out.

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  5. They just don't look real. Such beautiful creatures!

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  6. We always love seeing the bears. We heard the same story that Madi's Mom mentioned above and were hoping it wasn't any of the bears we have seen here.

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    1. Such a sad situation. Hundreds of miles from us so not one of "ours".

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  7. Your bear pictures and videos always make us smile. We love getting this glimpse of their hidden lives.

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  8. Those bears are so big! And thinking about how strong they are, its amazing the trees to not break! We love seeing your amazing photos of the bears!
    love
    tweedles

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  9. I love their little "marking dance"!

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  10. OMD, they are sooooo coooool!!! They kinda remind me of MOI, when I rub my snooter on the furniture! BOL!!!
    Kisses,
    Ruby ♥

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  11. Here's hoping Milton and Tiny show up soon. 🐻

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  12. We love the bears! It was surprising that they got active a bit later cuz we had spring come early here. Oh don't be surprised about a round belly after no eating. Our mom is just like that!

    Stopping by for a visit!

    Murphy & Stanley

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  13. I'm glad you've had some bear activity, but hope your favorites show up soon too!

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