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Native Californian, biologist, wildlife conservation consultant, retired Smithsonian scientist, father of two daughters, grandfather of 4 small primates. INTJ. Believes nature is infinitely more interesting than shopping malls. Born 100 years too late.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

New bears move in

A new mama bear and two cubs showed up at the bear den, and it looks like they intend to stay. Brian just checked the cam and emailed me this selection of pictures.

Mom gathered grass and shrubs and pulled them into the burrow.

The two cubs are bigger than the last two, which means they are yearlings.

They earned their upkeep by helping mom.

Whether mom is pregnant or not, this will be the cubs' last winter's sleep with her.

I think we are witnessing the beginning of a long winters' nap. Damn, these camera traps are fun!


Hugh Griffith said...

"Damn, these camera traps are fun!"

These camera traps must make a lot of retired mammalogists envious --all the questions they could have asked.

They should also swell the ranks of mammalogy grad students - siphon off some of the herp and bird people, now that it is possible to observe mammals in such detail. Fun indeed.

Kitt said...

What an awesome set of shots! I feel kinda sleepy just thinking about the long snooze ahead.

Camera Trap Codger said...

Can you imagine the reaction of a bunch of jr high school kids if they had set that camera up themselves? I am sure they'd be hopping. Actually, I'd like to start networking with some teachers to get the interested kids out of the classroom and into the field with camera traps, GPS units,boots and water bottles. I'll do a post on this before long.

reverend dick said...


Thank you so much for posting this.

I wonder about checking the camera right next to the burrow. How does that go? Can you speak to this?

Camera Trap Codger said...

Brian's the one checking the cams, Reverend, so I should ask him. However, the bears should be napping deeply at the time of the next check. It's cold there now, and they should be turning in soon -- by the end of the month at most. Once down they are hard to rouse. All the same it's good to have your mountain bike on the ready, or be wearing track shoes.

Beverly said...

Well, clearly she enters her den backasswards; who knew? It makes sense she'd pick such a small entrance...easier to defend, I'm sure. Gosh...bears is smart! (and I'm forever going to be more cautious around 'small' openings in da rocks!)

That young one is the same color I used to be; now I know why my mom called me HoneyBear!

What a cool idea to get the kids involved…even if they all find is folks littering or peeing outside. They’d love that! Wasn’t it you who told the story of someone who was burgled…and the bad guys were caught on the camera trap dividing up the goods? Too fun! I'm looking forward to the field trip with the kids. What age group?

Owlman said...

Amazing results Chris.

Bornean Rose said...

wow..this is really fun. you can snap a few great photos of it. we wish we can do it here in our study area..congrats with the great photos.

Camera Trap Codger said...

Rose, I hope to someday set a cam in the visitor blind (the Bumbum) in Taman Negara NP -- just to get a picture of the giant rats. The visitor log there is a boot to read.

Beverly, The ideal class would be Air France and Singapore Airlines flight attendants, age 21-35. (Bwaaahahahaha . . . ) Just kidding, of course (damn, I'm such a sick puppy) -- but seriously, early middle school kids would be the target -- before the hormones kick into overdrive.

Anonymous said...

Again, incredible photos! Enjoyed your visit and can't wait to get you to Montana and/or WV to do some camera trapping together...Carl

Beverly said...

I'm not a teacher...and I really don't remember middle school (back in the covered-wagon days); but I do have brothers and would agree; get to them before the hormones kick in!!! Besides, if you can hook 'em then...later, you can send them up all the steep hills regularly (preferably on shale or something that'll keep 'em working) ...to check camera traps, and they'll thank you for the opportunity! Heh, heh, heh.

Seriously, I like your idea; GPS = math, geography, the birds bring in the entire natural world plus science, biology; I like the idea of teaching USEFUL stuff; putting 'education' to work and teaching kids how to think...how to make what they are being taught work for THEM; perhaps the only way to see value in education, at that age.

Bornean Rose said...

giant rats? wow that will be cool!!!!

Camera Trap Codger said...

Thanks for the compliment.