11-14-11 Field Note: Grizzly Bear, Bobcat, Wolf, Lion, and Redpoll

Beau Larkin's field note looks at an influx of predators as winter nears and the elusive Northern flying squirrel. 

MPG North Field Note Transition to winter, wildlife on the move 14 November 2011, MPG Operations, Beau Larkin
Winter conditions and the beginning of the white-tailed deer rut triggered an increase in wildlife activity. White-tailed bucks (image 3-5) left high elevation bachelor groups to seek receptive does in the valley. This influx of distracted deer attracts predators like mountain lions and wolves (images 6-7).
A grizzly bear (image 8) and a bobcat (image 9) trundled down this popular road over the last two weeks.
The camera network captured this Northern flying squirrel (images 10, 13) twice in the same location (image 11) over the past three weeks. These agile creatures glide 50-150 feet between trees, cliffs, and the ground (Montana Field Guide, image 12). If this squirrel continues to appear, perhaps we can capture video footage of its antics in the future.
Muskrats (image 15) swam across home pond until it started to freeze over last week (image 16).
A skunk left this track in the road near home pond, and a vole crossed the skunk’s path later (image 17, red arrows in direction of vole’s travel, green arrows in direction of skunk’s travel). The skunk loped across the road to minimize exposure and then slowed to a walk. Skunks appear infrequently on the camera network, and tracks like this help us confirm their presence at MPG North.
A flock of Common Redpolls flew overhead and landed in a cottonwood tree last week (image 19). These small finches breed in the Arctic Circle and winter throughout Canada and the Northern continental United States. Montana lies near the southern extent of their typical winter habitat, but some Redpolls fly as far south as Texas.
Posted on 11/14/2011 by Anonymous

Habitat Types: 


Field Guide Entries: 

Grizzly Bear
Mountain Lion
White-tailed Deer
Northern Flying Squirrel