Animals are on the move in Jackson Hole as some species migrate away and others make smaller migrations within the valley. Many of our moose have moved away from rivers and ponds to browse on shrubs within open sagebrush habitat.
This makes them easier to find this time of year and this bull foraged contently near our most recent wildlife safari. He’ll keep his antlers for another six to nine weeks before shedding them.
We had hoped to make it to Yellowstone National Park yesterday, but icy roads kept us away. It turned out that plan B was full of opportunities including a close sighting of a grizzly bear, several sightings of moose and wonderful wildlife watching along the Snake River.
These trumpeter swans noisily flew back and forth in front of the Tetons while muskrats worked tirelessly nearby storing food for the upcoming winter months.
On a typical Yellowstone National Park excursion we are able to see several geysers erupt throughout the day, but on this week’s trip we were able to observe a total of five. During our day, we watched Old Faithful, Beehive, Lion, Great Fountain and Clepsydra erupt.
Our wildlife sightings have also been consistently strong during our safaris and moose have been especially cooperative lately. There were several moose laying along the Snake River the other day, but this female proved to be the most photogenic.
Our local bighorn sheep herd came very close during this morning’s safari and I (mistakenly) thought that this was going to be the highlight of today’s excursion. We ended up seeing some fascinating coyote behavior throughout the morning including a pack of coyotes chase a mule deer at full sprint. We didn’t see the outcome of the chase but my guess is that the deer eventually stood its ground and the coyotes backed off.
We were also able to see two different pairs of coyotes showing courtship behavior. Lots of great early Spring sightings including red-tailed hawks, mountain bluebirds, red-winged blackbirds, flocks of horned larks and scruffy-looking moose shedding their winter coats.