Spring Sightings Gallery

Gallery

This gallery contains 13 photos.

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

Spring Skiing And Sledding

Stay at Spring Creek Ranch for a few of Jackson Hole’s speedy spring events like the World Championship Hill Climb Town Downhill Ski Race.

Join us March 22nd – 25th for the 37th Annual Jackson Hole World Championship Snowmobile Hill Climb. Cheer on your favorite snow mobiler as they carve their way up the 1,500 vertical feet of Snow King Mountain on 500-lb. “Sleds”. Spring Creek’s Hill Climb package will allow you to take part in the exciting festivities of the Hill Climb and then escape the 10,000-people crowds by coming up our own hill overlooking the Tetons for your relaxing stay.

The Jackson Town Downhill on March 17th features the heart-throbbing Mini-Hahnenkamm course on Snow King Mountain (aka the “Town Hill”) with divisions for Pro, Recreation, Telemark, Junior, Fat and Baggy and Snowboard. The ski and snowboard event is the local Ski Club’s way of recognizing that skiing – and ski racing – is truly a lifetime sport. Jackson Hole is one of the last places in the county to organize and support a non-sanctioned downhill race. This community favorite draws over 100 competitors and 500 spectators.

Whether you compete or not, this event is fun to watch from the bottom, chairlift, or the top. Spring Creek is the perfect place to stay since it’s close to the action, yet located high above the crowds in town. Find the spring special that’s perfect for you! Call today to learn more about spring packages and specials (800) 443-6139.

Snipe Hunt

Snipe - Spring Creek Ranch, Jackson Hole, WY
The “snipe hunt” has been a traditional practical joke on inexperienced campers and consequently has led to many thinking that a snipe is a fictional animal. It is very real but heard more often than seen so this snipe out in broad daylight was exciting to observe on today's safari.

April is a wonderful month for wildlife watching as the national parks are quiet, animals are in motion and each day seems to bring a new species out of hibernation or returning from warmer climates.

The Sound of Pine Forests

squirrel - Spring Creek Ranch, Jackson Hole, WY
In the evergreen forests of North America the chattering of a red squirrel is a frequent presence to any outing. Our squirrels are active year-round, but have shown increased enthusiasm in the past couple weeks as Spring quickly approaches. Interesting sightings lately have included a porcupine, mountain goats and my first sighting of a 2010 butterfly (likely a Milbert’s tortoiseshell).

Long-billed Curlew and Much More

long-billed curlew - Spring Creek Ranch, Jackson Hole, WY
In the past few days we have literally seen thousands of animals on our safaris. Many of these were elk and bison migrating North, but we also were able to see many moose, deer, bighorn sheep and bison. This morning we had a nice view of a newborn bison which looked absolutely tiny next to its mother.

This close-up image of a long-billed curlew shows this bird’s unique bill which allows it to forage for invertebrates in open meadows and wetlands.  Shorebirds like this are typically associated with coastal areas but this species thrives in mountain valleys such as Jackson Hole. Another exciting bit of local wildlife news is that today’s observation confirmed that Spring Creek Ranch’s bald eagle nest remains active with the female dutifully incubating egg(s) in preparation for our upcoming 2010 mother’s day.

Spring in Jackson Hole

Daffodil - Spring Creek Ranch, Jackson Hole, WY
Spring has been slow to arrive in Jackson Hole, but each day brings new signs of change. We are still a few weeks away from most of our wildlflowers blooming, but this sagebrush buttercup is out along with yellowbells.

Recently returned migratory birds that we have been seeing on safaris include swainson’s hawks, kestrels, teals, yellow-headed blackbirds, kinglets and ibis.

Spring is coming to Jackson Hole

Marmot - Spring Creek Ranch, Jackson Hole, WY
We had several more “firsts” of Spring on yesterday’s safari including our first sighting of sandhill cranes, northern harriers, uinta ground squirrels and yellow-bellied marmots (pictured right).

The marmots and ground squirrels are exciting to see this time of year since they have been tucked away in deep hibernation for several months. We watched several moose as well and some of the bulls have about an inch of velvety antler growth.

Bighorn Sheep Winter in Jackson

Big Horn Sheep - Spring Creek Ranch, Jackson Hole, WY
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.