YELLOWSTONE NATURE NOTES
December 15: The first shed moose antlers of the current season were found on Teepee Creek today.
January 1: One of our C. C. C. boys awoke this morning to find a pine martin (Martes caurina origines) snuggled close beside him on the bed. Three of these animals have become close friends of the boys at the Tower Falls side camp.
January 1: At noon today Blue Spring was flowing its usual large volume of hot water. At 1:30 p.m. when I returned from a trip to Poison Cave this huge thermal spring was completely dry.
Two young mule deer bucks, each with one antler shed, were seen at Mammoth today.
Frank R. Oberhansley
January 2: Blue Spring is coming back, the large basin near the vent is again slowly filling with water.
January 5: A pair of Trumpeter Swans and one cygnet were seen on Nymph Lake on January 3. Another pair of adult swans were observed on Gibbon River at Elk Park today.
January 8: A mature buck antelope (Antilocapra americana americana) near the North Entrance was seen to have a broken left front foot. The injured member is at least partially healed but will no doubt be deformed.
January 10: A bull moose (Alces americanus shirasi) with antlers intact was seen on Grayling Creek.
January 14: A few Bighorn rams (Ovis canadensis canadensis) are beginning to drift apart from the ewes and lambs. Three head were observed near the Gardiner River above Mammoth traveling toward Terrace Mountain.
A large mule deer buck was seen near Soda Spring today with both antlers shed.
January 15: Blue Spring has regained its normal flow.
January 16: In cooperation with rangers Arthur Jacobson, Verde Watson and Gerald Yetter a count of waterfowl along the Madison River from West Yellowstone to Madison Junction was made and the following birds were enumerated:
January 17: Six swans, eight green winged teal, 82 Goldeneye, and 19 mallards were observed on the Snake River District today, mostly on the hot spot about five miles from the station on the Snake River. The six swans were seen on the Lewis River. Swans keep moving about from one hot area to another in this region.
W. S. Chapman
January 18: Two bull moose with antlers shed were seen on Grayling Creek today; a younger bull seen later on the Gallatin divide still had both antlers.
January 21: In company with ranger Clyde Gilbert I counted the following waterfowl on Yellowstone River from Hayden Valley to the outlet of Yellowstone Lake:
January 23: While skiing across Yellowstone Lake from Lake ranger station to Park Point patrol cabin Ranger Clyde Gilbert and I encountered some large blocks of ice shoved up in jumbled masses. At one point the lake water had oozed from a large crack and spread over the surface of the ice. It required 45 minutes to free our skis of ice and apply new wax.
Note: Rangers David Condon and Clyde Gilbert expect to cover approximately 400 miles on skis during the course of the present patrol to the upper Yellowstone and adjacent country.
January 23: In taking a nice slope on my return from Slough Creek today I skied right into the middle of a band of 17 bison, none of which appeared to be greatly disturbed at my sudden appearance. I was quite fortunate in avoiding a collision with one of them.
January 25: Eight Bighorn rams were seen in small groups from Silver Gate to the south slope of Terrace Mountain. One of the old veterans has lost a considerable portion of the left horn in battle. These rams are all presumed to have left the ewes and lambs in Gardiner Canyon during the past two weeks.
January 26: I was greatly surprised at hearing the notes of a killdeer (Oxyechus vociferus) today near the river. Upon investigating I discovered this bird feeding along the shallow margin of the stream near Snake River Station. Evidently this summer resident has his dates confused.
January 26: Snow depth near South Riverside patrol cabin is 76 inches. In the course of a 3-day ski patrol to this area with ranger Arthur Jacobson, two Mt. Chicadees and one pine squirrel were the only forms of animal life seen.
January 27: A Golden Eagle was observed eating a freshly killed mallard duck on ower Pebble Creek today.
E. L. Arnold
January 30: Our method of supplying birds with food at Cooke ranger station is to suspend small pieces of suet from the limbs of trees by small wires. Whenever there is lean meat or blood present in the suet our pet weazel (Mustela arizonensis arizonensis), whom we call Tippy for obvious reason, attempts to get these tid bits. He is not a skillful climber, however, and it is always amusing to watch his rather awkward and always futile attempts to get at these morsels. In his travels about the station Tippy invariably dives into the snow and later pops out at the most unexpected places. No doubt many mice are caught on these foraging expeditions under the snow.
January 30: While going over the terraces today I came upon a young coyote (Canis latrans) lying near the hot water channel directly below the summit of Cleopatra Terrace. He had excavated a shallow bed within 18 inches of the hot water. The pup appeared weak and emaciated, which no doubt accounts for his seeking the warmth of a hot spring.
January 31: Today I was attracted to a spot in the foothills 2 miles below Mammoth by the presence of a group of ravens (Corvus corax sinuatus) and magpies (Pica pica hudsonia). As I cautiously approached the spot from a small draw a coyote was observed feeding upon the remains of what appeared to be a deer fawn. Upon closer examination, however, the carcass proved to be that of a young coyote. Most of the carcass had been eaten, only part of the hide, legs and head remained. Indications were that starvation or sickness caused the death of this coyote within the last 24 hours. Coyotes are now definitely known to be cannibalistic.
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