|Bison at Grasslands National Park. |
Grazing is important to this fragile grassland ecosytem,
whether done by bison or cattle, as the animals contribute
nutrients and create varied bird habitats. © SB
While some herds were only distant hillside specks, several bison bulls loitered on the native prairie along the park's main Ecotour Road, watching — or ignoring us — from a distance.
(Bison are powerful, fast and agile, and can quickly change directions, so best to keep your distance. Cute as some of these photos may be, bison are neither tame nor cuddly animals. And yes, I had a long lens for these photographs.)
A chance to hear bison expert Wes Olson talk about the herds and animals he has managed in the park for many years.
(Not so wonderful: On Wes's retirement, his position apparently is not to be filled, thus leading to a significant loss of knowledge. Seriously — Wes is an amazing guy; check out his website.)
|Bison, on a distant hill. |
At this time of year, most groups near the Ecotour Road
through Grasslands park are comprised of bulls, mainly young ones. © SB
|Experts says to stay clear of bison if their tails are elevated|
- they are ready to charge, or discharge. -
This bison had the latter in progress;
I was some distance away, in a truck. © SB
|One Bison bison bison, three cowbirds. © SB|
|Bison expert Wes Olson described birds' nests made of strands |
- and shed clumps - of bison hair.
It's great insulation and the smell repels predators. © SB
|Bison expert Wes Olson telling stories |
to our group about the bison he knows so well. © SB
Seen on the Prairie Passages tour of PFRA and other publicly owned grasslands, with conservationists, authors, and photographers, including Margaret Atwood, Graeme Gibson, Alberto Yanosky (Executive Director of BirdLife affiliate Guyra Paraguay), and Ian Davidson (Exec. Dir., Nature Canada). Organized by Public Pastures - Public Interest. For more on the tour, see Pasture Posts and Trevor Herriot's Grass Notes.
What are these? Bison and a bison expert.
Location: Grasslands National Park, Saskatchewan.
Photo date: June 25, 2013.