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 →
Today’s safari observed a very unusual combination of sightings which included four species within the Cervidae (deer) family here in Jackson Hole. The rarest deer found here is the white-tailed deer (seen commonly in the east) so after spotting this large ungulate along the eastern border of Grand Teton National Park, we were especially excited to view elk, moose and mule deer throughout the evening’s outing.
This is a rare compilation of mammal sightings and the addition of bighorn sheep, bison and ground squirrels only added to our impressive species list for the day. Interesting bird sightings of the safari included horned larks, mountain bluebirds, bald eagles, red-tailed hawks and green-winged teals.
The word “common” can be misleading when it comes to wildlife names. This vibrant duck seen on yesterday’s safari is a good example of this, as its name is “Common Goldeneye,” but is fairly unusual here in Jackson Hole.
The Barrow’s Goldeneye is much more typically seen, so this was a fun addition to our day’s species list. Currently, we have lots of great behaviors to observe and on yesterday’s trip we watched coyotes hunting, bighorn sheep chasing one another, moose foraging, an eagle scavenging and bison grazing.
Each of our wildlife safari excursions offers unique wildlife sightings and today’s full-day trip was no exception. The vast majority of raptors (birds of prey) have migrated South of Jackson Hole, but we were able to view four species of raptors throughout the day.
Northern Harriers and Red-tailed hawks are unusual to view in winter months here, but we had great sightings of both earlier this morning. Rough-legged hawks and bald eagles were also seen including this eagle who had recently scavenged on the National Elk Refuge. Other interesting sightings from the trip included close views of elk, moose, bighorn sheep and mule deer.
Our wildlife safaris are offered year-round and I keep a log of sightings from every trip that we have ever done with an approximate count for each species.
On one of last week’s safaris we counted one of the highest number of bighorn sheep ever recorded on the National Elk Refuge: 61! As the snow keeps falling more and more animals are moving on to the Refuge including thousands of elk, bison, coyote, bald eagles and bighorns.
Much of our birdlife has migrated away this time of year, but rough-legged hawks migrate to Jackson Hole from Arctic regions. We have been observing these raptors on our safaris for over a month and can expect to see them regularly through most of the winter.
Elk haven’t returned to the National Elk Refuge in great numbers yet, but we can expect several thousand to show up shortly.
As our ski season winds down for the year the local wildlife watching remains dynamic and as interesting as any other time of year. Spring migrants are getting most wildlife enthusiast’s attention these days as we welcome back red-wing blackbirds, red-tailed hawks, ospreys and mountain bluebirds.
As the snow melts in the southern grasslands of our valley, elk and bison are beginning to make their way off of the National Elk Refuge and into Grand Teton National Park.
The birds to the right are intrepid little animals that will endure our long winters rather than migrate south.
Each species can commonly be observed at feeders and from top to bottom are nuthatch, pine siskin, pine grosbeak, black-capped chickadee and mountain chickadee.