Journal archives for November 2019

November 19, 2019

Urban Mule Deer with Christmas Lights

Wildlife numbers are increasing within many British Columbia municipalities, leading to more interactions with humans and our infrastructure. Interactions can lead to property damage, public safety issues, public health concerns, impacts on biodiversity, and death or suffering of wildlife. Deer, elk, coyotes, moose, geese, racoons, bears, and other animals can become more than a nuisance, putting themselves and humans at risk.

PHOTO: In the late summer and early fall deer rub their antlers on shrubs and small trees to remove the velvet covering of dried blood vessels. Antler rubbing continues throughout the fall and intensifies in November as breeding time approaches. Bucks use bush rubbing to leave scent from their forehead glands, which acts as olfactory warning message for other deer. It is also thought that rubbing may act like a mock shoving match to get them ready for sparring matches with other bucks. With this kind of behaviour it is easy to see how a deer could get in tangled with a string of Christmas lights.
Looks like the deer was looking for a plugin

Posted on November 19, 2019 16:37 by larryhalverson larryhalverson | 1 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Wildlife Show

Late November and early December is time for Mule Deer sparing - A
ritualized contest in which two bucks approach each other, lower heads and
carefully join antlers. Each pushing and twisting their heads trying to
drive his opponent back or push him off balance. Sparring bucks will often
disengage their antlers, lift and turn their heads laterally, as if giving
their opponent a profile view of the head and antlers. It is thought this
"profiling" may allow a buck to assess his opponent’s weaponry and to learn
his own relative size, strength, and status and allowing future dominance
interactions to be resolved visually, without resorting to potentially more
damaging forms of aggression. This match finished after the smaller deer on
the left backed up, turned and moved away, as three does watched near by.

Posted on November 19, 2019 04:37 by larryhalverson larryhalverson | 1 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Deer from the Rear

It is not obvious how White-tailed Deer got it’s name until you see them flee. As they run, their tails flip up and flares out, revealing an obvious white flag. It is thought they do this “fagging” to help young fawns follow their moms, startle predators or warn other deer.

PHOTO: The upper side of the White-tailed Deer’s tail is usually the same colour as their body or
 in some individuals like this one a darker brown.

Posted on November 19, 2019 05:30 by larryhalverson larryhalverson | 1 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Swivel Ears

One of the Mule Deer’s most distinct features is its big "mule-like" ears. Each ear rotates independently like a scanning radar.

Without this early warning system, the Mule Deer could not detect as easily the rustle of a cougar slipping up from behind. Although in this case the fawn has his back up against a wall preventing any ambush from behind.


Posted on November 19, 2019 06:10 by larryhalverson larryhalverson | 1 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

November 22, 2019

Not Your Typical

Deer antlers usually grow symmetrical, although occasionally they can be asymmetrical like in this mule deer buck, seen near Radium Hot Springs, BC.

Deformed antlers are often caused by injury to the velvet, as it is the velvet that carries blood vessels that nourish the growing antlers. These antler abnormalities may only last for a year unless the injury occurs near
the base of the growing antler or to the skull, which can result in deformed antlers for life.

It is also well documented ”that skeletal injury to a hind leg will result in the opposite antler being malformed in the next and in subsequent antler growth periods. Injury to a front leg often results in the antler on the same side of the body being malformed.” So it is interesting to see
if these nontypical deer can be recognized in following years.

Posted on November 22, 2019 02:52 by larryhalverson larryhalverson | 1 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Camouflage

White spots on a brown coat can help fawns blend with shadows and dappled light in the forest,
The spot pattern is random and quite different for each fawn. One researcher found the number of spots, even in twins can vary from 100 to more than 300.

PHOTO: Watched the doe put down her fawn next to a log and then wondered away making herself quite visible.

Posted on November 22, 2019 03:59 by larryhalverson larryhalverson | 1 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Mule Deer Rut

Mule deer's breeding season is underway. During this period, the bucks have terrific battles in which the antlers are used almost exclusively. Bucks that are evenly matched in size and strength may fight until almost exhausted before one or the other is the victor. It is difficult to say what happened to this buck but he is definitely handicapped when it comes to fighting.

Posted on November 22, 2019 03:12 by larryhalverson larryhalverson | 1 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

November 24, 2019

Two Meter Wing Span

As the temperature beings to rise each spring look up and you may spot a Turkey Vulture soaring overhead.

These birds arrive back in the Columbia Valley in April and leave in September using thermals to move through the air with very little wing flapping. They are rarely seen on the ground except when feeding on a carcass. Vultures are one of the few birds that are able to use their sense of smell to locate food. They fly low enough to detect the gases produced from decaying dead animals.

So if you see a Turkey Vulture soaring over head, don’t lie still too long especially if you haven’t showered lately.

Posted on November 24, 2019 21:08 by larryhalverson larryhalverson | 1 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

November 23, 2019

New plant for Kootenay - Euphrasia stricta

Chicory is also called Blue Sailors.

On August 20, 2013 a single Chicory plant was found growing at the Kootenay View Point. This exotic plant was introduced from Europe and is now naturalized in North America. It grows in the drier parts of BC in fields, roadsides and waste places. Over the years Chicory has been spreading northward in the Rocky Mountain Trench. They are normally found at lower elevations averaging around 600 meters. So this new sighting at the view point may also be a new elevation record at 1365 meters.Bill Merilees, former Kootenay Park Naturalist and author of Trees, Shrubs & Flowers to Known in British Columbia & Washington, says “the name chicory is familiar to many through the use of it’s deep taproot as a coffee substitute.”

Posted on November 23, 2019 01:42 by larryhalverson larryhalverson | 1 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

November 27, 2019

Screech - Almost Another One

Note made on Nov. 2, 2012

"The bighorn sheep population near the village of Radium Hot Springs, B.C., have a high rate of highway mortalities. In recent years, there has been a substantial increase in the number of bighorn highway mortalities on Highway 93/95, just outside the park's boundary.

Annual highway mortality is now estimated at greater than 10% of the population."

Posted on November 27, 2019 15:12 by larryhalverson larryhalverson | 1 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

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