Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bull Elk and Sandhill Cranes

This morning we woke to a big bull Elk ten feet from our backdoor with another smaller bull down by the creek.  The biggest one was a 7x8 pointer, and the smaller one was a 5x5 pointer.  The bigger one had a green ear tag with the number 807, last May an elk with the same number charged me one day when I was birding . . . below is the story of the tagged #807 Elk.  

On a snow covered spring morning on the 12th of May earlier this year, I was out birding around when I came back to the house to find five bull Elk between me and the house.  When they noticed me with our Border Collie (Kelly), they moved towards us instead of away from us, as would normally be expected.  Before I knew it, a velvet antlered bull began to charge.  Luckily, our dog quickly jumped in front of me and stood her ground while sending out a low growl of warning.  The charging bull stopped about 10' away!  Now it was a stand off.  Fortunately, the local squawking Black-billed Magpies flew over the elk and the elk looked up.  This gave us a chance to back off a bit.  The magpies did another fly over and we were able to skirt behind a big boulder and safely get to the house.  My mom took a photo of the elk, and the ringleader had a green ear tag with the number 807, the same one that we saw today.

The Bull Elk that charged me.  11 May 2010.
Zoom in on ears and you will see that the green ear tag has the number 807,
the same elk that I saw and photographed today.

Photos of bull elk with tag #807 - 14 Nov 2010

Photos of the Smaller Bull Elk - 14 Nov 2010

While observing the elk, one of them walked up to the other and they started to clang their antlers together, which is called sparring.  To see a video of the sparring elk, click on:

Later in the day, we heard Sandhill Cranes that were flying somewhere high in the sky way to the south east of our house.

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