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First chick hatches under Sandpoint ‘osprey cam’

WILDLIFE WATCHING — An osprey chick has just hatched for all the world to see under the watchful eye of the Sandpoint, Idaho, Osprey Cam.

The chick is the first of three eggs to hatch. The others should hatch soon. Viewers can tune in to watch in real time as the new osprey family begins and grows.

The video camera is on a nest above Sandpoint’s War Memorial Field on Lake Pend Oreille.

Video cam captures spectrum of critters in Stevens County

WILDLIFE WATCHING — How many species of critters will pass the lens of a trail camera positioned at one spot in Stevens County, Wash.?

You'll be surprised.

Keep your eye open for the bobcat.

Photograph has eye for great gray owl

WILDLIFE WATCHING — The eyes of the great gray owl are haunting, as you can see in the photo made this week by Montana outdoor photographer Jaime Johnson, who reports, poetically:

We spent the day again today with the Great Grays near Great Falls – wonderful birds.
 
They are very social birds, they actually fly and land near us when we are watching them.
 
They sit low in trees and listen intently for mice moving under the snow (waste deep).
 
When the time is right, they dive into the snow and grab the mice. They then crawl out
 
Of the hole and sit on the snow while they eat their prize. Once it is gone, it’s back to the
 
Low branch to do it all over again.

Owls are alive and well in the city

WILDLIFE WATCHING — I've had quite a few comments regarding my recent column, Timing is of the essences for wildlife, including several comments about premier wildlife watching opportunities great horned owls provide right here in River City.

For several years, from late December and for many weeks, we have heard (almost any hour of day or night) and rarely seen one or possibly two pair in our block near 46th, just east of Crestline. They favor a huge redtail hawk nest in a ponderosa, and are audible in a closed house with the t.v. going.  Love it!

—Tom Kearney

Elsewhere, Montana outdoor photographer Jaime Johnson said he and his wife Lisa have been closely watching three pairs of great horned owls already on nests despite the recent winter storms.

He describes the photo above:

This particular shot is a male sitting about a foot above the female (that’s on the nesting spot). Males are generally quite a bit smaller than the females.

Soaring eagle numbers a mystery at Lake Coeur d’Alene

UPDATED  10:35 a.m. 1-2-14

WILDLIFE WATCHING — Just when it seemed the annual winter bald eagle count was going to stall at Lake Coeur d'Alene, the number soared to 217 eagles on Monday. 

Carrie Hugo, a U.S. Bureau of Land Management wildlife biologist, can't officially peg the exact reason the eagles came so much later than usual for their feast of spawning kokanee in the Wolf Lodge Bay area of the lake.  From mid-November through mid-December, about half the number of eagles had shown up compared with counts in recent years.

At the end of December, the eagle gathering usually starts to thin out as the spawn subsides and ice covers more water. This season, the numbers increased and the biggest gathering of eagles of the year is at the lake this week. 

The numbers are up from Hugo's last count on Dec. 18, when she found 129 bald eagles in the Wolf Lodge Bay area. That was up from 86 eagles the week before that, according to Hugo's weekly count.

Of the 217 eagles counted Monday, 196 were adults and 21, juveniles, Hugo said, theorizing that many of the eagles were short-stopped from reaching Lake CdA by the revived kokanee spawning in Granite Creek at Lake Pend Oreille. Bayview residents, who view the Granite Creek area by boat, say the number of bald eagles there may be 10 times higher than last year. 

However, by New Year's Day, the larger number of eagles at Lake Coeur d'Alene wasn't apparent to Spokane photographer Craig Goodwin:

  • The increased count was a real mystery to the photographers who were out there yesterday. Based on our observations the numbers were the same or lower than they were two weeks ago. I was out there last year with 200+ birds and there were no where near that many yesterday. In my opinion the numbers aren't soaring nearly as much as the count indicates.

For decades, the eagles have provided a popular wildlife-viewing attraction as the birds are lured to the northeast corner of the lake from mid-November into January to feast on the spawning kokanee that stack up in the bay.
Despite the recent increase, eagle numbers are down from the past few years. The Dec. 18 count of 129 compared with 260 during the same time period last year.

SHARE YOUR EAGLE PHOTOS

The Spokesman-Review has set up a web page where readers can upload some of the great images they're snapping of eagles at Lake Coeur d'Alene.  Check it out, especially Tim Colquhoun's map of the best eagle viewing areas at the northeast end of the lake.

Warm up your bird ID before Christmas Bird Count

WILDLIFE WATCHING — Can you ID these two birds?  If not, you may want to attend one of the Audubon Society programs tonight and Wednesday on identifying wintering birds.

  • Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife experts say both birds are male finches and despite the difference in photo size here, they are about the same size in real life.
     
    The one on the left is a house finch (Carpodacus mexicanus) and the one on the right is a Cassin’s finch (Carpodacus cassinii).
     
    Cassin’s bright red cap ends sharply at brown-streaked nape and its tail is strongly notched. House finch’s red is more on the front of its head under a brown cap, and the red color can vary to orange or even yellow; house finch also has a more square tail.

Audubon Society invites newbies to programs on winter birds

WILDLIFE WATCHING — Excellent programs on winter birding are planned next week, a spinoff in the birding social event of the year.

Local Audubon Society chapters have tapped professional biologists to present special pre-Christmas Bird Count programs on identifying and understanding “winter birds:”

Whether you're gearing up for joining a group outing during the Audubon Society's 114th annual Christmas Bird Count or simply brushing up on your bird identification skills, check out one of these free programs:

Coeur d’Alene Audubon will feature Carrie Hugo, BLM wildlife biologist, on Tuesday (Dec. 10), 7 p.m., at Lutheran Church of the Master, 4800 N. Ramsey Rd. in Coeur d’Alene.

Spokane Audubon will feature Gary Blevins, Spokane Falls Community College biology professor on Wednesday (Dec. 11), 7 p.m., at Riverview Community Building, 2117 E. North Crescent Ave. Driving directions: tinyurl.com/SASmeeting.

The Audubon Chapters also welcome newcomers on the Christmas Bird Count field trips they've organized.  Following are the dates and the leader contacts:

NORTH IDAHO

Coeur d’Alene: Dec. 14; Shirley Sturts, (208) 664-5318, shirley.sturts@gmail.com.

Moscow: Dec. 14; Kas Dumroese, kas.birder@gmail.com.

Lewiston: Dec. 15; contact Bryan Jamieson, jami9197@aol.com.

Sandpoint: Dec. 14; Rich Del Carlo, (208) 265-8989, rich@peregrinetree.com.

Bonners Ferry: Dec. 28; Jan Rose (208) 267-7791, aljanrose@hotmail.com.

Spirit Lake: Jan. 2; Shirley Sturts.

Indian Mountain: Jan. 5; Don Heikkila, (208) 659-3389, idfinn@sm-email.com.

EASTERN WASHINGTON

Pullman: Dec. 14; Marie Dymkoski, marie-dymkoski@msn.com.

Colville: Dec. 14; Barbara Harding, (509) 684-8384, Barbara_Harding@fws.gov.

Pend Oreille River: Dec. 15; John Stuart, (509) 447-2644, ninebark@povn.com.

Clarkston: Dec. 15; Bryan Jamieson, jami9197@aol.com.

Chewelah: Dec. 21; Mike Munts (509) 684-8384, strix.nebulosa1987@gmail.com.

Spokane: Dec. 29; Alan McCoy, 448-3123, ahm2352@gmail.com. 

Video: Sullivan Lake kokanee spawning in Harvey Creek

WILDLIFE WATCHING — Spawning kokanee provide vivid autumn wildlife viewing opportunities at several classic sites in the Inland Northwest.

Edward Cairns employed his Go-Pro video camera on Monday and took advantage of the easy-access viewing at the south end of Sullivan Lake near Metaline Falls, Wash., where kokanee move out of the lake to spawn in Harvey Creek.

Thanks for sharing the footage (above), Edward.

This is a great place to bring kids for a wildlife viewing adventure, with excellent fall hiking opportunities all around, including the Sullivan Lake Shoreline Trail. This weekend should be prime time for seeing the most kokanee packed under the road bridge at the south end of the lake.

The run typically lasts until the middle of December.

 The run of the land-locked sockeye salmon is comprised of three-year-old fish leaving Sullivan Lake and swimming up Harvey Creek to find suitable spawning sites.  From Harvey Creek’s banks or the bridge, the fish are visible as they separate from the schools and pair up with mates. 

Females dig a redd (deposit site) to lay eggs and within a few days die.  Their decaying bodies provide nutrients to the creek and Sullivan Lake vital to the growth of plankton and insect life that will feed next year’s young.  The dying salmon also feed animals like bald eagles, raccoons, and mink.  Kokanee eggs hatch in February and remain in the gravel until spring where they are swept away into Sullivan Lake to start another cycle.

DIRECTIONS:  From Highway 31 south of Ione, turn east on County Road 9345 toward the Sullivan Lake Ranger Station and Sullivan Lake.  The bridge is at the south end of the lake.

Updates: Sullivan Lake Ranger District, (509) 446-7500 or stop in at the ranger station on the northwest end of the lake for a brochure on the Kokanee. 

Harvey Creek is closed to fishing from the mouth to the second county bridge, and open above the second county bridge from the first Saturday in June through Oct. 31. 

Click here for complete fishing regulations.

 

Bald eagles raising young over Lake CdA, throughout region

UPDATED 12:30 p.m. with info from Idaho Fish and Game.

WILDLIFE — May is family time for bald eagles, which have been steadily gaining a greater foothold in the Inland Northwest as they're considered one of the shining examples of Endangered Species Act recoveries.

This bald eagle family was photographed at Lake Coeur d'Alene over the weekend by Larry Krumpelman and posted on the Coeur d'Alene Audubon Society website.

Idaho will conduct a bald eagle nesting survey next year, the first since 2008, when more than 50 breeding territories were documented in the Panhandle from Lake Coeur d'Alene and northward.  Surely there's that many or more.

Spokane County alone has 15-20 active nests, said Howard Ferguson, Washington Fish and Wildlife Department area wildlife biologist.

The bald eagle, one of the first species to receive protections under the precursor to the Endangered Species Act in 1967, was been removed from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants in 2007. After decades of conservation efforts, the bald eagle exhibited a dramatic recovery, from a low of barely 400 nesting pairs in the lower 48 states in 1963, to more than 10,000 nesting pairs.

Nesting bald eagles can be resiliant.  

A bald eagle nest surveyed near Post Falls Dam blew down during an early July 2008 windstorm. The nest was home to 3 chicks at or very close to fledging. All chicks were observed after the windstorm and presumed to have successfully fledged.

The eagle pair rebuilt their nest in the same tree in December 2008, according to the IFG survey report.

CdA Audubon members have eagle eyes for birds

WILDLIFE WATCHING — A group of Coeur d'Alene Audubon Society members has a little contest to see how many species they can see in a year from their homes.  You can bet the binoculars and spotting scopes are always on hand.

While all members of the club set a record of 209 species in 2012 for their Kootenai County big year, this group of 10 couples chipped in a whopping 110 species without venturing beyond their back yards.

Click here to see the report of the species they recorded.

Read on for a summary of their findings compiled by member Dough Ward.

Whooo are the first love birds of the season?

WILDLIFE — At least one bird species in the Inland Northwest was way ahead of the crowd on the procreation front, as I mentioned in today's Outdoors column.

But birdwatcher reporting from Pend Oreille County Wednesday said they a raucus bunch of hungry nestlings proved that common ravens weren't far behind.

Bobcat finds backyard squirrels appetizing

WILDLIFE WATCHING — A Newcastle, Wash., man got a rare daylight view of a bobcat and her kitten in action this week — through his kitchen window.

J.D. Hammerly was able to snap photos of the bobcat squirrel hunting spree in his backyard.

Newcastle is in Western Washington bettween Issaquah and Mercer Island.

Bald eagle numbers dropping at Lake CdA

WILDLIFE WATCHING — Although plenty of bald eagles are still hanging around, the annual congregation at Lake Coeur d'Alene peaked around Dec.19 and numbers are declining.

Carrie Hugo, U.S. Bureau of Land Management wildlife biologist, counted 157 bald eagles Thursday in cold, clear weather in the Wolf Lodge area where the eagles gather from November into January to feed on spawning kokanee.

That's down from 183 bald eagles counted Dec. 28during BLM's weekly survey.

This season's high count was 260 bald eagles surveyed on Dec. 19. The count was 204 eagles on Dec. 13, 121 eagles on Dec. 5and 100 eagles counted on Nov. 27.

A record 273 bald eagles was countedat Lake Coeur d'Alene on Dec. 29, 2011.

Hugo said she counted 31 immature bald eagles Thursday and126 adults, which have the white heads. Snow in the trees around the lake help camouflage adult eagles, making them more difficult to see – and easier to miss — than on a day with no snow in the trees.

Heron has a plan for catching fish; What’s next, PowerBait?

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WILDLIFE WATCHING — Anglers take note: Patience and a good choice in bait reward this fishing bird with a good meal.  

This short video is worth watching.

Eagle numbers down to 180 but birds putting on show at Lake CdA

UPDATE: Disregard the previous post about a record count of bald eagles at Lake Coeur d'Alene. I got the numbers wrong. Updated version below:

WILDLIFE WATCHING — Bald eagles were crowd pleasers at Lake Coeur d'Alene today, although the number of eagles counted in the Wolf Lodge Bay area has declined from last week.

Hundreds of spectators took advantage of Eagle Watch Week to see the baldies congregate to feast on spawning kokanee salmon.

But the number of eagles tallied in the weekly survey was 183, said Carrie Hugo, U.S. Bureau of Land Management wildlife biologist.

That's down from 260 bald eagles counted on Dec. 19. The count was 204 eagles counted on Dec. 13, 121 eagles on Dec. 5 and 100 eagles counted on Nov. 27 — during their annual spectacle.

A record 273 bald eagles was counted at Lake Coeur d'Alene on Dec. 29, 2011.

Nevertheless, it was a good day for viewing and watching the eagles fish.
 
“Lots of activity in Wolf Lodge and Beauty Bay,” said Hugo, noting that she counted 140 adult bald eagles (white heads) and 43 imature eagles. “Lots of folks out viewing and photographing. It was a good day.”
 
Eagle Watch Week runs through Sunday 10 a.m.-3 p.m., with eagle experts and spotting scopes available for visitors at the Mineral Ridge boat ramp and trailhead. Take I-90 east of Coeur d'Alene and take the Wolf Lodge exit.
 
The number of eagles could go up or down in in the coming days, but there will be plenty for spectators to enjoy.

Eagle numbers down to 180 but birds putting on show at Lake CdA

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UPDATE:  Disregard the previous post about a record count of bald eagles at Lake Coeur d'Alene.  I got the numbers wrong.   Updated version below:

WILDLIFE WATCHING — Bald eagles were crowd pleasers at Lake Coeur d'Alene today, although the number of eagles counted in the Wolf Lodge Bay area has declined from last week.

Hundreds of spectators took advantage of Eagle Watch Week to see the baldies congregate to feast on spawning kokanee salmon.

But the number of eagles tallied in the weekly survey was  183, said Carrie Hugo, U.S. Bureau of Land Management wildlife biologist. 

 That's down from 260 bald eagles counted on Dec. 19. The count was 204 eagles counted on Dec. 13, 121 eagles on Dec. 5 and 100 eagles counted on Nov. 27 — during their annual spectacle.

A record 273 bald eagles was counted at Lake Coeur d'Alene on Dec. 29, 2011.

Nevertheless, it was a good day for viewing and watching the eagles fish.
 
“Lots of activity in Wolf Lodge and Beauty Bay,” said Hugo, noting that she counted 140 adult bald eagles (white heads) and 43 imature eagles. “Lots of folks out viewing and photographing. It was a good day.”
 
Eagle Watch Week runs through Sunday 10 a.m.-3 p.m., with eagle experts and spotting scopes available for visitors at the Mineral Ridge boat ramp and trailhead. Take I-90 east of Coeur d'Alene and take the Wolf Lodge exit.
 
The number of eagles could go up or down in in the coming days, but there will be plenty for spectators to enjoy.

Bald eagle drops in on viewer at Lake CdA

WILDLIFE WATCHING — Carlene Hardt heard about the huge numbers of bald eagles congregating at Lake Coeur d'Alene and finally made time on Sunday to go out and see for herself.

“I was NOT disappointed,” she said in an email. “I saw LOTS of bald eagles! I have been out there a few times in the past but this is the first time I had the opportunity to see one eating in a tree right behind me! The eagle sure did eat the fish fast!

Indeed, the photo she made (above) is an eagle egg's view of an adult baldy finishing the last few bites of a spawning kokanee.

The annual Eagle Watch Week begins today with experts and spotting scopes available in the Wolf Lodge Bay area.
  

National symbols put on show for veterans at Lake CdA

WILDLIFE WATCHING — The bald eagles didn't disappoint the two boat cruises full of dedicated veterans and active military and their families out on Lake Coeur d'Alene on Saturday.

Continue reading for the story from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

Bald eagle numbers increasing at Lake CdA

WILDLIFE WATCHING — The big start the annual bald eagle gathering got at Lake Coeur d'Alene last week — reported in this detailed blog post — took a big leap in the past seven days, according to the weekly count conducted today by Carrie Hugo, U.S. Bureau of Land Management wildlife biologist.

Hugo counted 88 adult bald eagles and 12 juveniles for a total of 100 eagles, up from 64 counted last week.

That compares with 76 eagles (63 adults and 13 juveniles) counted on Nov. 27, 2011.
 
The eagles return to the Wolf Lodge Bay area of the lake each year from November into January to feast on spawning kokanee.
 
Hugo said she found only one eagle on Higgens Point,” but there were 14 along the road between Boothe Park and Higgens Point,” she said, noting that 19 eagles were along Mineral Ridge and 32 across the Lake on the south shoreline. Beauty Bay and Beauty Creek had 21.
 
A record 273 bald eagles was counted at Lake Coeur d'Alene on Dec. 29, 2011.

By popular demand, a second boat to sail for Veterans eagle-watching cruise on CdA

 

WILDLIFE WATCHING — Local veterans and military personnel can sign up starting at noon Monday for a free cruise boat tour on Saturday (Nov. 24) to view the start of the annual bald eagle congregation on Lake Coeur d’Alene.

Local veterans and military personnel are allowed to bring up to five immediate family members on the boat that will tour Wolf Lodge Bay with a wildlife biologist aboard.

The first Veterans Eagle Boat Cruise offered last week filled in a couple of days, said officials with the Bureau of Land Management, which coordinates the veterans cruise along with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

Priority seating will be given to veterans and active military personnel who have not previously been aboard the cruise

Reservations are required and will be taken via telephone.

  • Call Suzanne Endsley of the BLM at (208) 769-5004 during the business hours, starting at noon on Monday to 4:30 p.m.
  • The current status of available seating will be posted on the Coeur d’Alene Field Office’s website.

Boarding for the second two-hour cruise will begin at 12:30 a.m. on November 24 at the Coeur d’Alene Resort Lake Cruises boat dock located on the east end of the Resort. Participants are encouraged to dress warmly and bring binoculars and cameras. Food and beverage are available for purchase aboard the ship.

Veterans to be honored with eagle cruise on Lake CdA

WILDLIFE WATCHING — A special cruise boat is being reserved for veterans to tour Lake Coeur d'Alene on Nov. 24 to view the annual congregation of bald eagles that come to feast on spawning kokanee.

The Bureau of Land Management, in cooperation with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, is offering a Veteran’s Eagle Watch Cruise on Wolf Lodge Bay — a free event focused on recognizing veterans, active military and their immediate families from the North Idaho area. 

In the past the agencies have been able to offer two cruises; however, this year due to leaner budgets they are only able to fund one cruise, which will accommodate up to 150 participants. 

Veterans and active military personnel that have never before taken advantage of the opportunity will have first priority for seating.  A total party of up to six immediate family members will be accommodated, including the veteran or military personnel.

Reservations are required and will be taken via telephone.

  • Call Suzanne Endsley of the BLM at (208) 769-5004 during the business hours of 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 
  • The current status of available seating will be posted on the Coeur d’Alene Field Office’s website.

Boarding for the two-hour cruise will begin at 9:30 am on November 24 at the Coeur d’Alene Resort Lake Cruises boat dock located on the east end of the Resort.  Participants are encouraged to dress warmly and bring binoculars and cameras.  Food and beverage are available for purchase aboard the ship.

National Parks offer free three-day weekend

PUBLIC LANDS — National parks will be waiving entrance fees to celebrate Veterans Day weekend, Nov. 10-12.

The Park Service is waiving fees for a total of 17 days in 2012. The Veterans Day weekend fee waiver is the last scheduled for the year.

Offering  free admission to national parks and other federal lands has been offered the past three years as a cost-friendly family vacation option in the economic slump.

National Parks offer free admission Sept. 29

PUBLIC LANDS — National parks will be waiving entrance fees to celebrate National Public Lands Day on Sept. 29.

The Park Service is waiving fees for a total of 17 days in 2012.

Offering  free admission to national parks and other federal lands has been featured the past three years as a cost-friendly family vacation option in the economic slump.

National Parks offer free admission June 9

PUBLIC LANDS — National parks will be waiving entrance fees to celebrate Get Outdoors Day on June 9.

The Park Service is waiving fees for a total of 17 days in 2012.

Offering  free admission to national parks and other federal lands has been featured the past three years as a cost-friendly family vacation option in the economic slump.

Naturalist presents Owl & Woodpecker exhibit at downtown library

WILDLIFE WATCHING — “The Owl and the Woodpecker,” an exhibit of insightful photos and information about  wonders of the bird world, will open at the Spokane Public Library starting Saturday  (April 28) through July 6.

This exhibit examines the intertwined life histories of owls and woodpeckers and their roles in defining and enriching their often-threatened habitats. It features 15 extraordinary images by award winning photographer Paul Bannick.

The photographs of owl and woodpecker species found in the Pacific Northwest are presented with text panels and vivid birdcalls and drumming sound recordings by audio-naturalist Martyn Stewart.

Bannick also is an author, conservationist, and Washington resident. The exhibit is based on his book, The Owl & the Woodpecker.

  • The library has scheduled a presentation by Paul Bannick on May 1 at 6:30 p.m. Bannick will have copies of his book, “The Owl and the Woodpecker,”  for sale and will stay to autograph books following his presentation.


The Burke Museum of Seattle sponsors the traveling exhibit while support for Bannick’s presentation is made possible by the Friends of Spokane Public Library.

National Parks offer full week without admission fees

PUBLIC LANDS — National parks will be waiving entrance fees to celebrate National Parks Week April 21-29.

The Park Service is waiving fees for a total of 17 days in 2012.

Offering  free admission to national parks and other federal lands has been featured the past three years as a cost-friendly family vacation option in the economic slump.

Pheasant photo triggers memories of morning walks

WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY — The one-in-a-million pheasant photo by Coeur d'Alene wildlife photographer Tim Christi sparked some pleasant memories after the S-R published it in the Outdoors section.

I received this letter last week:

“My late husband used to rise earlyl in the morning to surveyhis world before beginning his day. He often encountered a pheasant whom we nicknamed The President.

“My husband and the bird would engage each in his own language regarding who actually belonged on this sunny corn-producing hillside by the river. More often than not, they shared a joy of a new day and the joy of being part of it.

“The President shared his land for several seasons.  We knew him by a slightly crippled gait as he nibbled on young corn blades and pecked at the pumpkins.

“We will enjoy the memory via your magnificent picture.”

Angie Williams, Deer Park, Wash.

National Parks offer free three-day weekend

PUBLIC LANDS — National parks will be waiving entrance fees to celebrate Martin Luther King holiday weekend, Jan.14-16.

The Park Service is waiving fees for a total of 17 days in 2012. The Martin Luther King weekend fee waiver is the first scheduled for the year.

Offering  free admission to national parks and other federal lands has been offered the past three years as a cost-friendly family vacation option in the economic slump.

Winter doesn’t chill bighorn ram’s desire

WILDLIFE WATCHING — The party's over for elk.  Bull moose have given up on the girls.  Deer are losing their urges and getting serious about consuming enough calories to endure the winter.

Meanwhile, bighorn sheep are getting it on.

December is the peak of the rut for the masters of rock ledges, as the males earn their names by ramming heads together to determine who's the fittest to breed.

The bighorn ram pictured above is lip-curling at the beginning of December much as the whitetail buck was as it entered its peak of breeding in November.  

Wildlife photographer Jaime Johnson of Lincoln, Mont., captured the similar behavior of both animals with his camera.

When bucks or rams come to where a doe or ewe has urinated, they often curl their lips to trap the female's odor in their nose and mouth and analyze the scent for clues to the female's estrus stage.


  

Birding groups call on mayors to rein in cats

WILDLIFE WATCHING — Mayors of major U.S. cities received a letter from a major bird advocacy group this week asking them to stop the epidemic spread of feral cats that threaten national bird populations as well as scores of other wildlife.

Letters were mailed to mayors of the fifty largest cities in the Unites States by the American Bird Conservancy urging them to support responsible pet ownership and oppose Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) programs that promote the feeding of outdoor cats.

 “Cat overpopulation is a human-caused tragedy that affects the health and well-being of cats, our native wildlife, and the public,” says Darin Schroeder of ABC. “Numerous published, scientific studies have shown that trap, neuter, re-abandon programs do not reduce feral cat populations, and that outdoor cats, even well-fed ones, kill hundreds of millions of wild birds and other animals each year in the U.S., including endangered species. Birds that nest or feed on the ground are especially vulnerable to cat attacks.”

 There's no disputing that. But cat lovers have been living in denial forever.

Good luck in your attempt to use logic and facts to save millions of birds a year, ABC.