Winter Companions

Compared with some of the areas we have been fortunate to visit in our travels, we don’t have a large amount of diverse animals in close proximity to our home. Specially over the winter months.

The California Big Horn Sheep is our most frequent 4 legged visitor. They are a small sub species of the Rocky Mountain Bighorn. They tend to stay within 2km of a water source and the home range averages 17km.

Mountain Sheep

A Rams status or rank is determined in part by the size of its horns. They can engage in head to head combat, ‘smashing’ into their opponent at speeds up to 30km/hr!

Mountain Sheep

Mountain Sheep

Combat can go on until one Ram concedes. It has been observed to last up to 25.5 hours with about 5 clashes per hour! (Advil anyone?!)

Some are tranquilized by scientists and a GPS recorder/radio telemetry collar is placed. Each collar records location every 5 hours for a year. On a programed day the collar drops off and the scientists must retrieve it to collect the data.

Mountain Sheep

It is always nice to see the Ewes and the ‘little ones’ in the spring and summer as well!

Mountain Sheep

We also share our space with some feathered friends over the winter months. The Oregon Junco being the most common, but his ‘cousin’, the Dark eyed Junco, is also around. Junco’s are a specie of sparrow.

Dark eyed Junco

We also had a flock of Pine Siskins come through.

Pine Siskins

Very colourful little birds, and who knew they actually ate the top of the sagebrush blossoms!

Pine Siskins

The most common visitor to the feeders though are the Chukars!

chukkar

The Chukar Partridge is actually a member of the Pheasant family. These birds seem to find homes all around the world. I love their ‘bandana’ and their amusing antics!

chukkar

My favorite ‘companion’ is my faithful assistant, Mickie! She patiently waits for me as I stop to take pictures, just happy to be a long for the ride!

mickie

I am happy to see the Mountain Bluebirds have returned! Next will be the White Crowned Sparrows who invade my feeders every spring and eat me out of house and home for about 2 weeks then depart! The air is alive with the sound of their song for the whole time!

 

Until next time……………

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