Friday, July 18, 2014

Idaho - July 2014

We took a quick trip back to Northern Idaho this month to see family and some of the local wildlife.  The area around lake Coeur d’Alene continues to recover from years of mining. This is evident by native flora and fauna returning to the area in abundance.

The big wildlife news this summer was twofold.  First, a black bear was spotted in our family orchard for the first time ever.  It was up in one of the cherry trees eating before my parents chased it away.  Second, two families of Striped Skunks were living nearby and making daily excursions to our yard to graze on sunflower seeds dropped by the birds around the feeders.

In addition to these rare sightings (how often can you stand 10 feet from a family of skunks as they happily forage for food?).  We also saw dozens of Osprey (they have really recovered), three Moose, lots of White-tailed deer, muskrat, beaver and our first Idaho snake.  Lastly, we also saw two American Mink. Our first ever Mink sightings so we weren’t 100% sure they were Mink (versus juvenile River Otters) until we saw the video that I managed to hastily take.

Unfortunately, my main camera lens died on the trip so I have few pictures to share.  Luckily, our little hand-held Sony camera takes great video. We compiled all the footage from the trip here.

American Goldfinch:

Striped Skunk Family:

White-tailed Deer Fawn:

Painted Turtles:

Common Garter Snake:

Unknown Shrew.  We found this little guy beside a bike path.  He was still moving so I put him underneath a bush and he was able to standup a little so we hope he made it.

New Mammals:
American Mink
Unidentified Shrew

New Herps:
Common Garter Snake
Western Skink