Here in the woods of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula we share the trees, the lakes, the snow, the paths, the rivers, the flora, the passing seasons with the wild ones, the wild creatures who roam the forests.
Sometimes days and weeks can go by without a glimpse of wild animals. You know they’re out there, you know they’re all around, but you perhaps only see deer munching by the roadside, squirrels or chipmunks scampering up the poplar, a lone eagle or hawk soaring overhead.
When you spot a wolf barreling across the road or notice a moose in springtime munching in a swamp or hear the coyotes howling during a moonlit night you feel blessed.
You remember the wild ones, our brothers and sisters of the woods, and perhaps you give thanks for our interconnected lives.
My friend and fellow book club attendee, Pam Nankervis, is a wildlife biologist for the Keweenaw Bay tribe here in Baraga County, in the western part of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. She offered to share these wild animal pics taken from different locations around Baraga County. They are work photos from tribe’s Natural Resource Department.
(OK, I admit it. I begged for the photos. I knew you would want to see them. I knew how much some of you would want to see them.)
Do you see the tagged vulture up above? Pam said that the vulture had been tagged in Venezuela! Can you imagine it flying all the way from South America to the woods of Upper Michigan?
All of these photos were taken at remote game camera study sites set up in Baraga County. The remote camera surveys collect baseline mammal information on relative abundance and habitat use. The tribe’s biologists also monitor wolf pack territories to determine reproduction rates and how many packs may be using the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community reservation.
“We are also hoping to capture some photos of cougar passing through, but no such luck yet!” Pam said.
Pam explained that complete eagle transformation to the white head and yellow beak takes nearly five years; otherwise, the young eagles are brown with increasing white feathers. This young eagle has some yellow on its beak but a very dark head so is probably two years old, no older than three. Eagle coloration varies.
The young bear stay with their mom two years before venturing out alone. Aren’t they cute the way they are playing with each other in the photo up above? And look at this little coyote pup playing with the flagging tape:
Thank you, Pam, and the Keweenaw Bay Indian tribe for sharing these photos with the larger world. Their website (with more photos) is not working at this time, but I promise to insert a link here when it is functional. Thank you game cameras for giving us rare views of bobcat and wolf and bear in the wild.
Thank you, Universe, that we may continue to respect and honor all your creatures. Megwetch, or sincere thanks, as the Anishinabe (Ojibway) people here say honoring all our relations, including the winged and four-footed brothers and sisters.