Monday, May 23, 2011

Bison Baby

Spring is the time to see baby animals in Yellowstone, so Linda and I packed the long lenses and headed north.  The first day we saw just one baby bison from a long distance.  The second morning we saw two more, also from far away.  Had the long, hard winter somehow delayed bison births?  We had a great time exploring the Park despite stormy weather, but resigned ourselves to the probability that we would not see any babies up close. Then, just before we were ready to leave, we got lucky!

We spotted a brand new bison near the road in a small herd near Midway Geyser Basin and tried to get photos in the heavy overcast.  These calfs have a distinctive orange color and are on their feet and active soon after birth.  We watched this one try to figure out how to get food for the first time.

The calf nursed from at least two cooperative bison.  Had one female, other than the mother, lost a baby so she was still able to feed a calf?  This little one should fatten up fast with all the attention it is getting, but it was not welcome everywhere.  It got a swift kick when it tried to nurse from yet another bison.  We wish we could be there when the baby elk show up in another week or two.

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