Trumpeter Swans are the largest and some of the most majestic of all native North American waterfowl. Adults stand at 4 ft, have a wingspan of 7 ft and can weigh up to 35 lbs.
Very soon, cygnets (this year’s newborn) will be hatched and grow big enough to fly by the end of summer. Males are referred to as “cobs”, females “pens”. Cygnets stay with their parents for 1 summer after which they will establish new/shared territories. Parents are mates for life and live on average 25 years.
These are truly a spectacular species to observe in the Yellowstone Ecosystem!!
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What animal most frequently comes to mind to people when they think of “WILD”?
Bison are one of the most recognizable, iconic figures of the American West.
During the late 1800’s, they numbered in the millions. Now, around Jackson, WY there are about 500. In Yellowstone National Park, there are about 5,000 animals. Both groups can be seen fairly easily. Elsewhere in western North America and Canada, there are some “wild” populations, but few that are truly wild (unfenced) like those in Jackson and Yellowstone. The Yellowstone herd is genetically pure. The Jackson herd is not and are descendants of about a dozen bison which escaped from a ranch near Moran, WY back in the 1960’s.
Bison are herd animals and therefore travel in groups. They are grazers and feed on native grasses. An adult bull can weigh 2,200 lbs and run 35 miles an hour. Their body structure makes things more easy than for other animals when trying to find grasses buried under feet of snow. Specificly, their neck and shoulders are massive, allowing them to remove snow with their heads from the grasses they seek below. Bison normally have 1 calf in spring, which can weigh 40 lbs at birth. It is said and written that a Bison can jump a 6 ft fence. I’ve only seen them jump a 4 ft fence. Regardless, they are large animals that can be very athletic.
Here around Jackson, the local herd does not “migrate”, but they do move around. Primarily, from the area right around town to an area about 30 miles north (within Grand Teton National Park). In contrast, a portion of the bison in Yellowstone herd does “migrate” north onto private ranch lands in late winter.
There, the concern amongst ranchers is that Bison may transmit Brucellosis to the cattle/sheep. Special winter hunting seasons have been allowed to Native American Groups as well as ranchers.
Though slow and unintelligent looking, Bison are an iconic and beautiful wild animal to see up close.
Let Teton Wild Custom Wildlife Tours give your group an up close view and information about these and other animals in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
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Wildflowers will be in bloom in the Jackson Hole Valley, Grand Teton National Park and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem for the entire summer…if you know where to see them!
Beginning in late May (depending on snowpack), wildflowers here will be in full bloom and easily seen. Among the many flower varieties seen here are Arrowleaf Balsamroot, Indian Paintbrush (WY state flower) and Lupines, but flowers include dozens of other types.
The landscape absolutely explodes with color during this majestic bloom. Hummingbirds, bluebirds and other feathered species are drawn to the nectar and insects that enjoy these flowers.
This is a wonderful time to see beautiful flowers as well as newborns….elk, moose, bison, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, birds, coyotes, bears and many others.
Call Teton Wild for flower and animal updates at 770/686-1652.
Bears are going through a major change right now in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
Specifically, they are emerging from their winter dens.
The 1st to emerge (happening right now) will be adult males, then mothers with last year’s cubs, then mothers with newborns. All will come out of the den ravenous and will be constantly looking for food.
For a few months, they will focus on winter kills (elk, moose, bison) and then roots, flowers and grasses. Later in summer they turn to white bark pine seeds and ripe berries and even army cutworm moths..
Once back in the den for hibernation in December, bears will not eat, urinate or defecate until the following spring.
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Which are more regularly seen in Wyoming, humans or Pronghorn antelope?
Interestingly, there are quite a few more Pronghorn than people here. A 2018 US Census accounting showed the human population of WY at over 579,000. Pronghorn numbers in WY currently exceed the human population figure, but an official estimate of their numbers has not recently been published.
Pronghorn around Jackson, WY embark on a significant migration from Grand Teton National Park in late fall to an area over 100 miles south and then back again in May/June.
These are the 2nd fastest land animals in North America and can run at 60 mph. However they are not great at jumping a fence. Due to their inability to jump well vertically, they get into fatal trouble around fences. Additionally, they suffer a high mortality rate due to vehicle accidents. As a result, Wyoming DOT has installed “overpasses” along their traditional migration routes to aid these animals in crossing the highway safely. The overpasses have worked!
Come see them in person on a private tour with Teton Wild and witness their beauty along with that of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
#Teton Wild Custom Wildlife Tours #Grand Teton National Park #Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
#Ecotours #Photography Tours