Readers’ wildlife photos

Stephen Barnard sent some great photos of local elk; note the reproductive success of the male in the last photo. Take that, Cordelia Fine!

This is the time of year when migrating (and mating) elk (Cervus canadensis) move through the ranch.

The first couple of photos are noisy, taken in dim light and cropped. The bull in the second photo has an exceptional rack. There were at least five bulls mixed in with numerous cows and calves.

The next two photos are of a young bull, photobombed by out-of-focus sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis).

The next photo is of a pair of young but nearly mature bulls. Maybe they’re brothers. I’d bet on it.

By this time the bulls have the mating hierarchy sorted out. The final photo, taken today, is of a fully mature bull with his harem and his concubines’ calves. He won’t tolerate any male intruders.

The elk and deer and moose in this region had an historically catastrophic winter. The snowfall and temperatures beat all records and wildlife suffered. By the same token, the abundant water made the spring and summer gloriously verdant after several drought years. It’s heartening to see the survivors  back again, healthy and feisty as ever.


  1. Debbie Coplan
    Posted October 12, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Really wonderful set of photos. They have such a painterly quality.
    Especially that last photo of the herd… it could almost also be a painting.
    Such a huge parade. The sounds and smells of such a huge herd must be very exciting to witness….

    • Posted October 12, 2017 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      I second that, Debbie. There’s something about the light there…. not sure what it is.

  2. Posted October 12, 2017 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Lovely pictures and notes about the comings and goings of one of our largest deers.

  3. Glenda Palmer
    Posted October 12, 2017 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing these fine photos and the notes.

  4. Posted October 12, 2017 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Very nice Stephen. Lucky you! 🙂

  5. BJ
    Posted October 12, 2017 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    What marvelous and dignified creatures. Thanks very much, Stephen.

  6. Posted October 12, 2017 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    Nice photos. Where were they taken?

  7. Diane G.
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 12:10 am | Permalink

    Most impressive animals, Stephen! The information about their relationships and behavior is most interesting as well.

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