Archive for January, 2011

Grizzly Bear Cub

Posted in Grizzly Bear Cubs with tags , , , , , , on January 30, 2011 by grizzlybearblog

brown bear cubThe first year of life is tough on grizzly bear cubs.  Half of all cubs die in their first year of life.  The summer of 2008 we witnessed a huge boom in cub births.  We spotted over 24 first year cubs in one bay in Katmai National Park.  Sadly, we spotted no second year cubs in the same bay the following summer.  Mother bears may have relocated to other areas with their cubs, but we assumed many of the cubs must have died.


Grizzly Bear Cubs

Posted in Grizzly Bear Cubs with tags , , , , , , on January 26, 2011 by grizzlybearblog

brown bear cubsTwo grizzly bear cubs in their very first summer relax near a group of bear viewing tourists.  The cub on the left is a female, the one on the right a male.  The white chevron around a bear cub’s neck is pretty common, and also aids in identification.  For example, the boy bear has a much more pronounced white chevron than his sister.  Grizzly bears lose the white chevron when they get older.

Katmai National Park Coastline

Posted in Alaska with tags , on January 18, 2011 by grizzlybearblog

Katmai National Park AlaskaAn aerial photo taken just North of  Katmai National Park.  Most photos on this website were taken in Katmai, which has one of the largest concentrations of grizzly bears in the world.

Grizzly Bear Opens a Clam

Posted in Grizzly Bears Clamming with tags , , , , on January 13, 2011 by grizzlybearblog

grizzly bear photosThis grizzly bear female is delicately prying open a clam using her nails.  Grizzly bears have different techniques for opening clam shells.  Some crush the entire clam in their mouths, then spit out the shells (which reminds me of how humans eat sunflower seeds with the shell on).  Other bears eat the whole clam shell.  Others will twist apart the top shell from the bottom shell using the palm of their front paw.

Grizzly Bear Nursing her Cubs

Posted in Grizzly Bear Cubs with tags , , , , on January 12, 2011 by grizzlybearblog

mama grizzly bear nursing her cubsGrizzly bear mothers most often nurse their cubs lying down on their backs.  A grizzly bear mother will usually keep her head lifted to scan the scene for any potential dangers.  I took this photo sitting nearby in the grass.  The grizzly bear mother was perfectly comfortable with us nearby since she has learned that humans do not hunt grizzlies in this area (Katmai National Park where hunting is prohibited).  In fact many grizzly bear mothers in Katmai feel more comfortable close to humans.  They have learned that some grizzly bear males (who could harm cubs) will be hesitant to approach human bear viewers.  This is an example of grizzly bears’ sophisticated social intelligence.

Grizzly Bear Tongue

Posted in Grizzly Bear Cubs, Grizzly Bear Physiology with tags , , , , , , on January 9, 2011 by grizzlybearblog

grizzly bear tongueA first year grizzly bear cub sticks her tongue out.

Mating Grizzly Bears Cuddling

Posted in Grizzly Bear Social Behavior, Grizzly Bears Mating with tags , , , , , on January 5, 2011 by grizzlybearblog

grizzly bear mating behaviorA male and female grizzly bear cuddle during mating season.  These bears were paling around together for the afternoon, cuddling, grazing and walking together.