Spring Creek Ranch is conveniently located to two of the most captivating national parks in the United States. You can take off from Spring Creek for a day trip and see the lower loop of Yellowstone, the nation’s first national … Continue reading →
Spring is a wonderful time for watching wildlife. Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks are less busy, animals are moving around and coming out of hibernation, or returning from their “winter homes.” Check out the below gallery of some of … Continue reading →
Jackson Hole is famous across the planet as one of the best locations for wildlife and landscape photography. Our naturalist programs make the most of this by offering photo safaris twice per week throughout the year. This week, we explored Grand Teton National Park with cameras, tripods and lenses to find historic barns, abundant wildlife and expansive mountain views. Taking advantage of our Spring wildflowers, we took a 20-minute walk to find this meadow of daisys with the majestic Teton range providing the perfect photographic backdrop (seen in the image below).
One of the packages that we are currently promoting here at Spring Creek Ranch focuses on the fact that June and July is a wonderful time of year to see wild newborn animals. Appropriately, our safaris have had excellent sightings of these particularly cute critters during the past couple of weeks. Each of the images below were taken on recent wildlife safaris and include (from left to right) a grizzly bear cub up a tree, a bison calf, elk calf, coyote pups playing and a moose calf (with a very protective mom nearby.)
Last week’s wolf and bear safari was an extremely successful weekend of wildlife watching throughout Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. We were able to find many grizzly bears, black bears and a solitary gray wolf. Although these predators were the focus of this excursion, we also had great sightings of bighorn sheep, moose, river otters and many other birds and mammals.
Friday was our first Yellowstone National Park excursion of the year as the South Gate opened for business. It was an extraordinary day with great geyser and wildlife sightings.
We were lucky enough to watch eruptions of Old Faithful, Beehive and Grand geysers; all beautiful and unique in their own way. One of the highlights of the day was watching a sow and cub grizzly bear digging for unknown food resources in Hayden Valley. The image shows the picturesque Upper Geyser Basin with Beehive erupting in the background.
I am always thinking about the relationships between humans and wildlife, and ended up thinking about patriotism as a result of seeing these American kestrels on today’s safari. Most of us would associate the bald eagle with the U.S.A. since it is our national symbol and they do look really cool and majestic.
Nonetheless, the American Kestrel is not only the only bird-of-prey with the word ‘America’ in it but also actually displays all of our red, white and blue colors. These little falcons are quite small and easily mistaken for a robin or other medium-sized bird, but are as deadly as any other raptor. The male (on the left) is a bit more colorful, but the female also has charismatic markings.
This month is outstanding for wildlife watching in general, but one of the highlights is the unique courtship behavior by our local sage grouse. Males and females gather in specific areas called leks, and the males work very hard to impress the female grouse by prancing around, raising their sharp tail feathers, beating their wings and inflating their yellow air sacs on their neck. Throughout this entire display they are vocalizing loudly with a voice that is unlike anything else in nature. We have seen this behavior several times on recent safaris and this image was taken earlier this week.
I’m also happy to report that the bald eagle nest on Spring Creek Ranch’s property remains active and the female was observed today laying low on her nest, likely incubating eggs. This nest has had varying success in fledgling eaglets in recent years, so we remain hopeful that it will be successful this year.