Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Watery Wednesday: Bison Crossing

The American bison, often called buffalo, is the largest land mammal in North America. With weights averaging between 900 and over 2000 pounds there is not much that can get in the way of these massive behemoths.
But even the bison, with its huge head and powerful neck and legs, can have problems when crossing the snow melt fed rivers of Yellowstone. We captured these bison crossing the Madison River on the west side of Yellowstone. This was most likely a bachelor heard, males who do not yet have a harem of females to attend.
At this time of the year mixed herds, herds consisting mainly of female and young with a dominant bull, often gather together into a large herds to help protect the young calves from predators, such as bears, wolves and coyote. It is often difficult for these large herds to cross rivers at this time of the year because the current is frequently too strong for the young to make it safely across. This is one reason why you often find the bison on the road in Yellowstone, because it is often the easiest path to travel.

20 comments:

Happily Retired Gal said...

Wonderful watery photos of these bison today ... and nifty sideshow of Calendar pictures in your sidebar.
Hugs and blessings,

Rob Ripma said...

Fantastic shots! It is amazing how large they are when you get up close!

Audun said...

Great shots of the bison. Thanks for sharing

Guy D said...

Now there is some beef, very cool shots.

Have a great day
Guy
Regina In Pictures

Carletta said...

Awesome shots!

My post is here: Carletta’s Captures.

Vicki ~ FL said...

Great shots ~ I love Yellowstone, it's such a beautiful part of the country and so much wildlife to be found.

Martha Z said...

Great shot! I've been to Yellowstone several times but never seen this.

ChrisC and JonJ said...

Great shots!!I grew up outside of Buffalo,NY.And the Bills are MY team!

Pam said...

You always have the most amazing photos. These are wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

Carol said...

Wouldnt it be wonderful see a large herd of Buffalo.

www.wildlifearoundus.blogspot.com

Vicky said...

we don't have bison here but we saw water buffaloes crossing the road while traveling to a village...

Regina said...

Amazing captures. Nice post!

mitt vattenhål said...

Great shots of these big mighty anilmals. There is a man that breeds one kind of those quite nearby my summerhouse on the Swedish eastcoast.

NatureFootstep Photo said...

I am always amazed by this, It seems so hard to cross, yet they do.

Karen said...

Wonderful shots!!!

It looks like that smaller one, at the back, is having a tougher time getting across..

srp said...

This post gives a whole new take on the not so famous.. "why did the bison cross the river... or is it the road"... Very nice pictures and information.

Amanda Guthrie said...

Right out of National Geographic another great shot!

Anonymous said...

We would like to read more about Bison migration.

It's Time to Live... said...

Just got back from my own Yellowstone and Teton adventure. What a great place. Enjoyed your blog.

Arija said...

Wonderful captures with those strong, massive beasts thrashing through the water. They remind me of the cave drawings in Spain and France.