Looking out the window today the snow is falling and I found myself thinking of spring. One thought that stuck in my head was last April when I went with our Naturalist, Kurt Johnson on a Dawn Wildlife Safari. We went out past the National Elk Refuge, to Kelly and around the loop to the National Museum of Wildlife Art, then back to Spring Creek Ranch.
The wildlife were out in numbers and we photographed Bison, Elk, Moose, Mule Deer and Bighorn Sheep. The birds were also returning to Jackson Hole. We saw thirteen varieties of birds including: Trumpeter Swans, Red Tailed Hawks, Mallard Ducks, Bald Eagles, Canada Geese, and an American Kestrel.
My favorite bird was the little American Kestrel. Not much bigger than a Robin, this bird inhabits our valley between April and September. We saw it at the art museum perched on one of the rock ledges eating a mouse. These birds don’t usually eat anything bigger than a grasshopper, so this was a major score. We tried not to scare it away, so this picture was taken with a telephoto lens. What a magnificent little bird! These animals and birds are all out there just waiting to be seen and photographed.