Montana Tail Count

We saw all kinds of animals on our trip to Montana. We were
really hoping to see some bears, but the weather didn’t cooperate to let
us go hiking off into the woods! Here’s the list of what we saw on our
trip!

Animal

Location

(YNP = Yellowstone National Park)

Notes

Bison YNP We saw so many bison! Not exactly the thundering herds of yester-year,
but we did have a herd block traffic and have lots of up close experiences.
Not as close as the safety
videos
, but we saw lots calves and adult bison.
Elk YNP We saw lots of elk, but the most amazing were two “four-point”
bucks that were just grazing in a meadow near the road. Lots of cars
stopped to admire these beautiful animals. One guy apparently forgot
he was not in the city and felt the need to curse at us for blocking
his way – which we weren’t – as he drove by us.
Marmot
(Yellow-Bellied)
YNP Art made sure that we took a trip to Sheep Eater Cliff to see the
marmots. The adorable creatures ran right up to us an begged for food.
We saw one take food right from someone’s hand. The were really friendly
and stayed quite close to us. At one point one let out a warning
call
– it was so loud we all jumped!
Least
Chipmunk
YNP The other animal highligh of Sheep Eater Cliff was the Least Chipmunks.
While I was looking at a marmot that had gone up the rocks, the tiniest
chipmunk ran out and all around me. I thought it was going to climb
up my legs! Its frenetic movements made it appear to be under a strobe
light!
Red
Squirrel
YNP We probably saw these other places than just the park, but we specifically
identified them there. The are quite cute, and the white circle around
their eyes makes them look a bit different than regular squirrels.
Golden-Manteled
Ground Squirrel
YNP We probably saw these other places than just the park, but we specifically
identified them there. These look a lot like chipmunks, just bigger
and without the face markings.
Gray
Jay
YNP We saw gray jays all over the park. They are much softer and fuzzier
looking than blue jays. They also have a really pretty song.
Common
Raven
YNP, Bozeman, and everywhere in between Ravens were everywhere! Our best encounters were the ravens diving
around the Yellowstone Grand Canyon, and the ravens that were trying
to steal our picnic in YNP.
Mountain
Bluebird
YNP We first spotted these gorgeous birds while looking through binoculars
at a herd of buffalo in the distance. One bright blue spot caught
my eye! They are so brightly colored; it’s really amazing.
Magpie YNP, Bozeman, and everywhere in between We saw lots of beautiful magpies both in flight and on the ground.
The magpies are a staple of Native American and European mythology.
Here’s one Native American story.
Scottish
Highland Cattle
Ross Peak Ranch Although cattle is something you would expect in Montana, this breed
probably isn’t. Ross Peak Ranch is where Amy & Brett’s wedding
was held, and in the fields behind the Spring Hill Pavilion are lots
of Scottish Highland Cattle. The property’s owner told us all about
them — did you know they are the prefered beef of the Queen of England?
*More
fabulous pictures*

There are more birds that we saw that I haven’t listed.

[tags]montana, animals, bird watching, critters, bison, ravens[/tags]

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