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07 July, 2012

More young animals

Another trip to Yellowstone National Park after a night before at Chico Hot Springs with our friends Gretchen McBeath and Dick Kane. Gretchen had remarked that this would be her 5th trip to Yellowstone with us and she had never seen a bear. As a side note to those of you who do not know Gretchen and Dick, they are bear lovers and have over 100 stuffed bears that they have collected over the years. In anticipation of the trip, I researched where the bears had been seen in Yellowstone in the last 2 weeks. We arrived in the park just before 7:00 AM in hopes of finding a bear before it got too sunny and too hot. By 8:30 we had driven through mist and fog and had seen no bears. 

I had a couple places I wanted to explore, so we did some backtracking. Soon after we left Tower Junction and headed back toward Mammoth, we saw lots of people and cars along the road. The trip became an immediate success as we saw what the onlookers were seeing. A mama black bear and twin cubs. I have developed 6 of the 75 pictures that I took for the blog.
 This is an early view of the mama and her cubs.
 They obviously were hungry and what they were looking for were grubs, the cubs could have been saying at this time, "mom, what are you finding"
 Mama said, just be patient, these are old trees from the fires many years ago, and I'm sure we'll find something to eat.
 This is just one of the trees where they found grubs. They would dig and eat and dig and eat and dig and eat and then move on to another tree trunk. One of the favorite photographs from the escapade was this cub as it climbed along the top of the tree trunk.

02 July, 2012

Baby robins, growing fast

It started on June 25th. Go back to the prior posting to see what I captured on that day. Since then I have captured more photographs of the babies in the nest and I am amazed at how fast they are growing. But before we share with you their current status, I will report that on the 26th I went to the nest where the older babies were to see if they were acting like they wanted to leave the nest. The next was empty and they were gone. So I spent the next hour looking at all of the places they could have fallen and perhaps not made the trip. No sights of babies. Since then I have seen at least one if not both of them. I can tell by their fact that they do not fly like the adults. And now to the new babies.
The first photograph you saw was the beaks peeking above the nest. Not so in this photograph. I captured 4 of them (there are 5 in the nest). They were waiting for mom to return with some food. I was a couple days later that I got a picture of mom at feeding time with the babies. Compare the images of the babies in these 2 photos and see how much they have developed.
 If you think they are developing or perhaps maturing (i.e.: each day), look what's next. Best case I can only see two or three when I look at the nest. The only time I can see more is when an adult is visiting the nest with food. The reason I say adult is because, I just noticed an adult leaving and another adult arriving with more food. I'm guessing it's mom and pop who are sharing the feeding duties. Just like you saw the black bird in the prior post, the adult robins are bringing grasshoppers to the nest.
 Now here is the surprise. The picture below was taken on July 1st and they are already big enough to get outside the nest. Yes, from the little beaks to the fully feathered ready to fly in only 1 week. I have been to the nest several times today, July 2nd, and they are still all in the next, but based on the experience with the other nest, they will soon be gone.
Stay tuned as I will have at least one more update on their status and anything else I can learn about the maturing of baby robins.