A couple of requests for bear, wolf and coyote images prompted, first of all, a trip to the Wolf Centre at Haliburton Forest on Sunday, May 1st. Lots of changes in the pack since I last visited. Haida, a black male, born in 2007, was one year old then and is now the alpha male. The pack has gone from nine adults to four adults. The big news was that on Friday, April 29th four five day-old cubs were discovered. Very exciting for the Wolf Centre as it has been three years with no cubs. That makes them 23 days old now and they expect them to emerge and come down by the windows around the end of June.
That will be one crowded place this summer!
An image posted by a Quebec photographer of two coyote pups on Naturephotographers.Net spurred me to visit a wildlife park in Quebec. The photographer had got his shots at the end of April so I hoped that they would be out and about by now. As it turned out they were behind last year by about four to five weeks. No pups seen the first three days but there was a new den visible from the road. Day four was to be by last day and just after I arrived at my best viewing spot and set everything up the pups started coming up out of the den!
Coyote pups will emerge from their den at three weeks of age and are weaned at six weeks.
The pups came out after the sun hit the den. That was after 1 pm with high, contrasty light and dark shadows, also 65 metres from the road! The direction of traffic meant I had to shoot from the driver’s side out the passenger window.
Adorable little fat balls, barely able to walk. Even though the animals in the park are captive some of the enclosures are quite natural. The coyote enclosure has a high rocky hillside, creek, low, flat area and lots of trees.
There are eight Eastern Coyotes in the enclosure, which is probably too many. There is a hierarchy and one seems to be the outcast. The alpha pair watches the others when the pups are out. One came in for a closer look and there was no fight but did get the message that it was not wanted.
Six is the average number of pups for coyotes to have and it looked like there were that many. It would be super to live closer and be able to watch them as they get bigger.
One day two of the bears sparred just like the male polar bears do when they gather at Churchill. They played in one of their ponds and just put on a wonderful show. I felt very lucky to have been able to watch their antics.
This isn’t behaviour you would see in the wild. Black bears are solitary once they have left their mothers. Here there are eight bears in one enclosure. The males have been “fixed”. These two males spent most of their time together and when awake they always seemed to be interactiing.
The captive animals weren’t my only subjects. I discovered a tree being worked on by a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and saw it excavating a nest hole. A flock of pipits was feeding in the “caribou” fields and an American Bittern was hunting along a wet area as well.
Thousands and thousands of Canada Geese gather along the Ottawa River during migration and the Plaisance National Park is one place to view them. Many flocks woke me up calling at 5:30 am as they flew over the motel.
My bird feeders were empty when I got home and along with too many red squirrels the birds have been slow to return. A Bay-breasted Warbler was a treat to see here on Saturday. The phoebes are nesting and I’ve seen a Red-eyed Vireo around a few time. Rain and cool winds have kept the birds out of sight so far.
All the images incuded in these blogs are the sole property of Eleanor Kee Wellman and may not be used for any reason without written permission. The images were taken with a Canon 7D, with either my 500 f4 IS plus converters or 100-400.