Grizzly bear orphan returns to the wild in Canada


This video says about itself:

Grizzly Bear Encounters

Of all the species I have filmed in the wild I have to admit nothing can quite compare to the Grizzly! They are a powerful and majestic mammal that in one glance takes us back to the time of the last ice age when mega fauna roamed the earth. Like all bears, they are a curious and intelligent species. This footage was taken during the spring and these bears were busy looking for food after a long winter.

Close Grizzly bear encounters happen usually when people roam into the territory of the bear and as you’ll see in this film, sometimes people tend to get much closer then they should.

All grizzlies are technically called “Brown Bears” and they are omnivores like their Black Bear cousins. Unlike the Black Bear, a Grizzly female will protect her young very aggressively instead of sitting by while the cubs climb a tree as a Black bear would. In fact they will even stand up to a larger male grizzly if that’s what it takes to protect her cubs. If you ever do run across the cubs in the wild keep your distance, mama bear is sure to be close by and she wont appreciate the company. Please remember that these beautiful bears need clean and healthy habitat to continue to allow us to have amazing Grizzly Bear Encounters!

I’m Mark Fraser and to read up on future wildlife adventures and how you can protect help wildlife habitat, visit my web page.

From Wildlife Extra:

Grizzly orphan returns to the wild in British Columbia

A one-year-old orphan grizzly cub, called Littlefoot, has been released back into the wild near Cranbrook in British Columbia, after being found in the spring severely underweight. It is believed he was orphaned last autumn.

During this time he has been cared for by the Northern Lights Wildlife Society (NLWS) and gone from a scrawny 12.7kg to a far more respectable 48kg.

Lightfoot is part of a project, run by International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), the Northern Lights Wildlife Society, and the British Columbia Ministries of Environment, and Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, that monitors whether orphaned grizzlies can survive when released back in the wild.

Lightfoot is the sixth release since the pilot project began in 2008, and is the first one-year-old that NLWS has prepared for release. He has been fitted with a satellite collar and will be monitored for the next 18 months.

“When he came in, Littlefoot was older than most of the bears we receive for care,” said Angelika Langen of NLWS. “Because he had lost his mother last fall and hibernated by himself, he was in bad condition.

“Thankfully, the Ministry of the Environment allowed this bear into our care for a limited time period to give him a chance to gain weight so he could look after himself.

“We’ve picked a great release site for him away from people with a good berry crop out there, and I think he has a good chance of survival.”

“We were thrilled to see the approval for a yearling cub to enter the rehabilitation process,” said Kelly Donithan, Animal Rescue Officer at IFAW. “Our wildlife rescue and rehabilitation pilot projects around the world have been providing evidence that animals can be rehabilitated from a young age and, upon release, not only survive but thrive in their natural habitat.

“We are excited to see how Littlefoot navigates his new lease on life and becomes a fully functioning wild bear.”

Birds, 100 years after extinction of passenger pigeons


100 years after extinction of passenger pigeons

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA:

August 30, 2014

Look for an important story about bird conservation in this weekend’s New York Times Sunday Review. In his op-ed marking 100 years since the passing of Martha, the last Passenger Pigeon on earth, Cornell Lab of Ornithology director John Fitzpatrick imagines Martha asking, “Have you learned anything from my passing?”

Dr. Fitzpatrick’s answer: yes we have, but we need to do much more. Read about citizen-science efforts, such as eBird, that help scientists track how birds are faring and correct course before species become imperiled. Learn about the 2014 State of the Birds Report, to be released in Washington, DC, on September 9 by the Cornell Lab and partners. Based on citizen-science data, the report highlights which species are rebounding where conservation efforts are working, and which species urgently need our help.

Thank you for your passion for birds and conservation. Your involvement and support are helping to fuel an entirely new conservation movement–one in which thousands of bird watchers, scientists, and concerned citizens are taking action together to help prevent more species from sliding toward extinction.

Please share John Fitzpatrick’s op-ed with your friends, family, and fellow bird lovers to help raise awareness about the plight of birds and how your support of the Cornell Lab is shaping a better future for birds and wildlife.

Sincerely,


Miyoko Chu
Senior director of Communications
Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Spotted skunks in North America, dancing and stinking


This video, recorded in North America, says about itself:

Enter the amazing world of the spotted skunk with this brilliant clip from BBC wildlife show ‘Weird Nature‘. A chance to see skunk defences at first hand, this short video includes images of a spotted skunk performing foot stomping, hand stands, and predatory spraying to ward off potential attackers.

From eNature Blog in the USA:

The Spotted Skunk Is One Talented, But Smelly Acrobat

Posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 by eNature

The skunk that most of us in the U.S. know best, the Striped skunk, is just an entry-level stinker.

Its cousin, the Spotted skunk, possesses an even more potent musk. And the Spotted skunk is also the better entertainer.

A Seldom Seen Skunk

The smallest skunks found in North America, Spotted skunks are sleek, fast, and skilled climbers. They’re highly nocturnal, too, which means that few of us ever see them.

One of the two sub-species, Western Spotted or Eastern Spotted skunk, can be found in most of the continental U.S. There’s very little difference between two sub-species, although the Eastern tends to be slightly larger than the Western.

These skunks’ nocturnal nature means that while we’re spared their malodorous weapon, we’re deprived their acrobatic performances. These start when the spotted skunk feels itself threatened.

Fancy Dancers

First, the animal rapidly stomps the ground with its forefeet. Next, quite remarkably, it rises up on its front legs and performs one or more handstands. And if the threat persists, the skunk will drop back onto all fours, curve its body so that both front and back ends face the interloper, and deliver a blast of skunk musk up to 16 feet away.

The video above, from the BBC show Weird Nature, shows the Spotted skunk performing its distinctive dance, although it’s in an unusual setting. Researchers speculate that this performance (which they refer to as a demonstration) has evolved as a warning to predators and other animals. Once a would-be predator has seen it and then been sprayed, the thinking is that subsequent demonstrations act as warnings and discourage further attempts at predation.

It all sounds quite entertaining, as long as you’re not on the receiving end!

What To Do If The Unfortunate Happens?

The malodorous oil that skunks spray is produced by glands around the anus. The secretion of Spotted skunks differs from that of Striped skunks— and can actually smell stronger if water is used to remove it. One of the most effective ways to remove the oil’s unpleasant smell is to oxidize the active elements in it with baking soda or hydrogen peroxide when bathing humans or pets.

Have you encountered a Spotted Skunk, or even a Striped one? We’ve heard many good skunk stories over the years and would enjoy hearing yours.

Monarch butterfly migration starting in North America


This video is about monarch butterfly migration.

From eNature Blog in the USA:

The Monarch Butterflies Migrating Now Aren’t The Ones You Saw Last Spring

Posted on Thursday, August 28, 2014 by eNature

Fall is just around the corner throughout most of North America.

You’ve probably noticed that your local birds are preparing for it— and so are our many of our butterflies.

Monarch butterflies are famous for their annual migrations. Some of these insects travel thousands of miles each fall—an astonishing distance for such fragile creatures.

Yet few people realize that the Monarchs we see in the spring are not necessarily the same ones that fluttered past in the fall.

Beginning in late September, the skies along the Gulf Coast of Texas slowly become filled with meandering groups of Monarchs. Their flight, while not hurried, is purposeful, moving southwest toward a small forest in the highlands of Central Mexico. These butterflies travel from southern Canada and the northern United States at a rate of approximately 50 miles per day. They’ll spend the winter in a few small groves of evergreen trees, with each grove containing as many as 20 million butterflies. Sheltered from the wind and snow, the butterflies conserve energy, for they still have a lot of work ahead of them.

The Monarchs become active again in February. Mating begins, and the air fills with swirling masses of copulating pairs. The first warm days of late March trigger their northward flight. A close look at these butterflies, now eight months old, reveals that their wings are faded and tattered. Still, the Monarchs fan out across the southern United States, looking for Milkweed plants on which to deposit their eggs.

Four days later, the eggs hatch, producing small caterpillars that immediately begin to feed on the Milkweed leaves. Ten to fifteen days later, each caterpillar stops feeding and forms its chrysalis—a beautiful soft green jewel flecked with gold. In another ten to fifteen days the chrysalis splits open, and a new Monarch emerges.

This generation of butterflies mates, lays eggs, and dies within the span of a few weeks. During this time it moves north, following the progress of spring and the emergence of Milkweed.

By the end of summer, two more of these short-lived generations will have repeated the process, ultimately coming to inhabit the Milkweed patches in the far north latitudes.

Thus the Monarchs born in the Northeast and Canada in September are the great great grandchildren of the last Monarchs to inhabit the area. These are the ones that will head to Mexico. They’re significantly larger than the three generations that preceded them and still sexually immature. Rather than mate and lay eggs, they seek out nectar-producing flowers. The nectar serves two purposes: some of it fuels the southward migration, and some of it is converted to fat reserves that sustain the butterflies through the winter.

This incredible annual cycle applies to all Monarchs east of the Rockies. The populations in the West follow a similar pattern, though their migratory path is westward, from the Great Basin to overwintering sites along the Pacific Coast.

Since 1992 MonarchWatch has been carefully tracking Monarch Butterflies as they migrate.  Much of their data comes from the work of volunteers who tag and track the butterflies. They can always use more helpers…..

Are you seeing butterflies in your neighborhood?

Best birdseed for North American birds


This video from Indiana in the USA says about itself:

Winter Birds’ Feeding Frenzy

5 January 2013

My pagoda sunflower seed bird feeder served as the perfect feeding station, making this feeding frenzy a birdwatchers’ delight. Watch as Bluejays, Northern Cardinals, Chickadees, House Finches, Goldfinches, Tufted Titmice, Nuthatches, and House Sparrows all dart in to feed and take a spin on the pagoda feeder, while Red-bellied and Downy Woodpeckers dine on the nearby suet. Listen as the Pileated Woodpecker comes in close to scold from a nearby tree, but stays out of camera’s view. Notice, as the days get longer, the Goldfinches are already starting to get some yellow back.

From eNature Blog in the USA:

What’s The Best Birdseed To Put In Your Feeder This Fall?

Posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 by eNature

Fall is all but in the air in many parts of the country—and it’s a time of the year when many people think about feeding birds in their backyards. We’re not sure why this happens only in autumn, because feeding birds throughout the year has many rewards. Yet, autumn is the time when bird seed sales are held, and bird feeders are promoted most widely.

Perhaps, it’s the notion that birds need more help in cold weather, and therefore, bird feeding is more popular in winter. Whatever the reason, the bird feeding season is on, and people are buying lots of bird seeds.

The kind of seeds you offer backyard birds makes a difference, because all birds don’t eat the same foods.

If there is one kind of seed that is most attractive to the greatest number of backyard birds, it would be sunflower in any form. Sunflower seeds are relished by finches, grosbeaks, cardinals, jays, and even some species of woodpeckers.

The two most popular forms of sunflower seeds for birds are the black oil sunflower seed, which is in the shell, and the hulled (medium cracked) sunflower seed, which is out of the shell. eNature’s bird expert, George Harrison, tells us that if he could feed only one kind of bird food in his backyard, it would be hulled sunflower seeds.

Other popular seeds for finches, include niger (thistle), also spelled nyjer, a tiny black seed that is offered in a tube feeder with tiny port holes. Safflower seeds are a favorite among cardinals, doves, and house finches. And the various wild bird seed mixes are eaten by sparrows, doves, juncos, and blackbirds.

So don’t miss out on having a busy backyard this fall. If you leave bird seed out, it’s almost certain to get found.

What do you do this time of year to attract or (as some of us like to say) take care of your local birds?

We always appreciate hearing your hints, suggestions and stories. Just leave your thoughts below in the comments.

And have fun with the birds this fall!

Humpback whales, what do they eat?


This video from California in the USA is called Surfer Almost Swallowed by Whale.

From eNature Blog in the USA:

What Does A Humpback Whale Really Eat For Dinner?

Posted on Thursday, August 28, 2014 by eNature

Despite the title of the video above, Humpbacks don’t eat surfers!

Eves so, that video has received lots of attention around the internet when it appeared— and for good reason.

It shows a surfer’s VERY close encounter with a humpback whale off the beaches of Santa Cruz, in Northern California.

But it’s also interesting because it’s a great close-up view of how a Humpback feeds and the sort of marine life that makes up its diet.

How To Eat Without Teeth?

Humpbacks are baleen whales and have no teeth. They feed by using the large plates of baleen in their mouths to filter out shrimp-like krill and other small creatures from the water. Plated grooves in the whale’s mouth allow water that was taken in to easily drain, leaving a mouth full of dinner.

But most folks don’t realize that baleen whales such has humpbacks also consume fish— mainly small schooling fish they hunt in same fashion as krill.

In the video you can clearly see lots of small prey fish scattering in all directions just before and as the whale breaches. (Double click on the video if you want to see a bigger version of it). You an also see the whale’s baleen plates and the water rushing from its mouth as it filters out its prey.

Blowing Bubbles For Dinner

Humpbacks are energetic hunters, taking krill and small schooling fish such as herring, mackerel, pollock, and haddock. They’re also quite clever and have been known to use a technique called bubble net feeding.

A whale or group of whales swims in a shrinking circle blowing bubbles below a school of prey, encircling and confining the school in an ever-smaller cylinder. The whales then suddenly swim upward through the ‘net’ with their mouths open, filtering huge quantities of water and capturing thousands of fish in one gulp.

It’s a pretty amazing thing to observe…

And one other fun thing to note in the video is all the seabirds following the whales as they feed. These birds know that breaching whales panic fish and make them easy pickings for an alert bird. Looking for flocks of seabirds working the ocean’s surface is time-honored way for fisherman to locate schools— and for whale watchers to find whales.

Have you had a chance to see Humpbacks or other whales? We always love to hear your stories.

Fallow deer alpha male, video


This video is about an alpha male fallow deer which does not want two younger males to come too close.

E. Neuteboom made the video in the Amsterdamse Waterleiding Duinen in the Netherlands.