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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Black Bear Mating Season - How Mohawk and Tiny Ended up Together

Mating season is a tumultuous time for black bears. First, the sow has to send her yearling cubs out into the world to fend for themselves. We watched Mohawk raise her cubs last year, with all their hilarious antics that made us laugh. Mohawk watched over them closely, and she performed the miracle of getting both of them to this point healthy and alive.

The bear way is that the sows mate every two years. So, Mohawk sent her cubs off a couple of weeks ago. The first to leave her side was Blackie, the more timid of the two. If I had to guess, he's been hiding high in the trees for these tough weeks. Brownie, who actually looks blond now, stuck around for longer. However, by May 18, he was on his own and looking pretty confident.

There's no rest for sows. Almost immediately, Mohawk was searching for Tiny. They mated two years ago, and I suspect that at least one of her cubs is Tiny's. Thus, they know each other, and it's not surprising that she wanted the biggest and strongest bear as the father of her cubs.

Tiny was marking trees, and Mohawk began following him. She was a couple of hours behind him, walking his exact route when I picked up footage of them. Eventually, she caught up, perhaps as he was snoozing in the forest.

After they got together, they came to visit me at my house. I will never forget it. This photo was Tiny in the foreground and Mohawk in the background.

Tiny turned toward me. It's not the greatest photo but I will treasure it. I may even put it on my wall. Tiny has taught me a lot about bears even though I have rarely seen him with my own eyes.

As much as I loved seeing them at my house, the back story is even more fascinating - because they behave naturally when recorded by trail cameras deep in the forest. The video includes Mohawk with her cub just before he finally left, Mohawk following Tiny in the forest, and the the two of them finally together. I hope that you enjoy it!

20 comments:

  1. it is impressing and they are such wonderful animals... not sure if I would love them near to my house... the pups would go bananas ...

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  2. Hari OM
    I love your 'Tales From The Woods'!!! YAM xx

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  3. I agree, that is such a beautiful photo of Tiny. What awesome animals they are.

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  4. Tiny is quite handsome and the camera loves him.
    Hugs Cecilia

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  5. How great that you got to see Tiny so close up for once. We hope Mohawk and he made some beautiful babies while they were together.

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  6. This is a very romantic love story about tiny and mohawk and I hope that one of the babies looks just like tiny and gets as big as he is. He has the most beautiful face and I do hope that the blind bear grows up and gets bigger he looks kind of ill and not as big as he should be. I love his color

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  7. Tiny is just huge and so handsome and obviously, Mohawk thinks so too. We can't wait to see the cubs!

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  8. Is it wrong of me to be sad for the little black and blonde cubs? It must be scary to be on their own in the big world. But, of course, I'm hopeful we'll see Mohawk with her new cubs next year.

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    1. Not at all wrong. I feel scared for them, and so sad that they are on their own. But, I remind myself that it's the bear way, and many generations of bears have made it through this scary phase. I now think that both of them are males, which makes me even sadder, because they will need to disperse far from here before adulthood. I love when we can watch them for years and years.

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  9. They really are special and that photo of Tiny is wonderful!

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  10. Absolutely love the video. I wonder how much Tiny weighs?

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  11. Aw, so precious. The bear way is right.

    Have a fabulous day and week. Scritches to the pups. ♥

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  12. " I will follow you " this is a delight, and net season another lot of bear babies. Yes, hard to know the other ones as a year old are out on their own, but I'm sure they have been well trained in growing up. Superb clips, love those daytime ones.

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  13. What a wonderful bear "love" story!!!

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  14. We will miss the brown cub, hopefully cams will catch footage now and then. Good luck on the love connection, Mohawk.

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  15. That's fascinating but they should use TIMBER for dating.

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  16. I am so glad you put the info in the video. I hope the cubs are ok but as life goes, it was great seeing the big ones together. love this video. love that you got company at your house.

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  17. Oh, I wish we could enjoy seeing bears near us! But with the birds, we don't want to see them. I will enjoy yours vicariously! ♥
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

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  18. Little blondie is adorably cute standing on tip-toes when rubbing that tree. Such amazing footage!

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