Posted by: atowhee | June 24, 2020


How many generations of off-spring can a mother live to see?   Gotta ask Grizz 399, or maybe Wisdom of Midway Island.

First, Grizzly 399 in Yellowstone was born in 1996, and this past winter she gave birth to quads, just about as unusual in beardom as it is among our species.

It was nature photographer Thomas Mangelsen who first called attention to her and her cubs this spring. He made some facebook postings about 399 and her litter earlier this month.

Wisdom is the famous female Laysan Albatross who has been raising one young per winter for decades.  She is well over sixty years old. Now even business publications cite here as an example of tenacity and perseverance.

Grizzlies can be from three to eight years old before they begin to breed.  In the wild a quarter century is considered a long life for a grizzly.  Wisdom’s species usually begins nesting between three and five years of age.  I must underline the fact that both these grand mothers have their young on federally protected land.  Deliberate, regulated conservation efforts are crucial if we are to succeed in heading off global extermination of most animal life.  About the algae I am not so worried.

LATE SUMMER MALHEUR TRIP:  Sept. 12(Sat)-Sept. 18(Fri)
This trip will allow us to spend a full day in the Steens where we will go to the peak at just under 10,000 feet elevation.  In the late summer we may get access to areas closed during breeding season.  There may be migrating raptors passing through the valley and mountains.  While many insectivorous birds will be gone there will also be songbirds on migration including huge numbers of White-crowned Sparrows and their cousins from several species.

Mammals possible on trips include: Belding’s ground squirrel, pronghorn, wild horses, mink, river otter, long-tailed weasel, badger, coyote, mule deer, yellow-bellied marmot, kit fox, Nuttall’s cottontail, black-tailed jackrabbit, bats, California ground squirrel. 

Arrive for dinner on the 12th, depart after breakfast on the 18th. To get more information or sign up for these trips, call the Malheur Field Station at (541) 493-2629.

Summer Birds 2020

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