Wildlife of Yellowstone


“Lots of people talk to animals,” said Pooh…”Not very many listen, though,” he said.


When you see a bear for the first time it is almost feels like your heart starts beating irregularly.  Did I just see what I think I saw? Like your brain has a hard time keeping up what your eyes are seeing. They are just too much to take in at once I suppose.

At least so it felt for me. Definitely when I saw this cinnamon Black Bear sow. She was in a fight with a male black bear, to defend her cubs that were in a tree. The sounds she made towards the other bear and witnessing the speeds she had while running towards the other bear, those things were all new to me.  And I was just in awe to be sitting there and seeing this all happen in front of me. I was with another photographer, who called on me when I was passing by and said to stop and watch the show. And that’s what I did, stopped and watched the show. Such a spectacle.

The stand off between the two bears. They did stand like this for a while. The cinnamon colored one even sat down for a bit, and then they bolted after each other again. Every time they ended up in a ditch so no spectacular photos of that fighting. But that sound alone was even amazing. If that sound didn’t made you feel you were in the midst of nature, I don’t know what will. It also made me wonder if she was aware of the humans being near. Kind of important too, since I just saw her run so quickly towards the other bear. Luckily the wind was blowing towards us. So she probably didn’t smell and notice us. Her behavior didn’t change for sure. She only had eyes for the other bear.

And she was so not happy seeing him hang around her kids. In the end the other bear finally gave up and wandered off to another meadow.

Only then it was safe for her kids to come down. And the little ones climbed down the tree.  Like I said adrenaline rush for sure.  Seeing Momma bear protecting her two cubs was an amazing thing to witness. And definitely a first for me.

When both her cubs were down, all three of them wandered off into the woods. All safe and sound and ready for another adventure I’m sure.

That was just one of the wildlife “stories” in Yellowstone. I felt the wildlife in Yellowstone was pretty intense for me. It’s like the game, now you see me, now you don’t. And all the adrenaline levels in your body elevate when you see them……

Like this elk, that just popped up along side one hill along the road. And the grizzly that just kept digging for food with his paws and nose in the muddy fields.

Or the Black Bear just crossing the road in front of me.

A grizzly bear searching the field for some food.

Moose eating from the fresh spring willows.

Bison really  do give you the feeling that you’re in nature. They are the most visible and cross the roads left and right.

Just for comparison…. This was my rental car, a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Not a small car you would say. But seeing it next to the bison, it makes you wonder who would win  the fight. They are just huge and impressive. And there are bison everywhere in Yellowstone. You can see them by themselves or in a big group. Which I think is even more impressive.

I did watch the bison for a while on the image below. When I got there, they were all lying down. Then a few stood up and walked towards the river. I walked a little into the field and sat down on top of a hill. And watched them. It looked like they were ready to cross the river. What a cool sight this was. The river was pretty strong with all the snow melting and had my doubts of them making it across.

But they did. Swimming and all. As you can see in the picture.  Two of them making it a across.  And then a couple more bison followed them. But the second batch thought the same thing I did. Very strong river and half way down swimming they turned around and went back to the herd on my side of the river.  The others that already crossed just watched them and since no other bison came across, they got into the water again and swam back. It really is like watching a tv show. Very entertaining.  And all the time it kept me guessing what their next move was going to be. Have to admit, I didn’t guess that the first ones would really repeat their whole exercise the other way around again. I just had to laugh when they finally got back again. Then they shook off all the water and acted like nothing just happened. Went back to grazing the field. Apparently the grass on the other side of the river did look greener than it really was.

For me the best bison view is a momma bison with her little baby. Or….

Lots of baby bison….

Or a close up from baby bison….  They are just too cute. And talking about cute….

Thought this Yellow-bellied Marmot was super cute. All nicely posing for my picture and such….

Or this Snowshoe hare….. another cute one….

The red fox….

The Coyote that said hi while I was waiting for birds to photograph…..

As did this Uinta ground squirrel after the coyote was out of sight.

Loved watching the wolves in Lamar Valley. One morning I heard them howl too. That sound for sure will wake up our senses….. Was amazed to see the bison chase  away the wolves. Best wildlife tv show if you ask me.  And I could sit and watch that for a long time.

This one really made me laugh out loud. Was making a photo of the Bighorn Sheep, that was also nicely posing for me. When suddenly a mule deer, totally photo bombed the image. And it even looked like it was smiling because of it. So funny! Who knew that mule deer had that sense of humor?

The Eared grebe and the Barrow’s Goldeneye both seen at Trout lake.

The beautiful Mountain Bleubird and the Northern Flicker.

And the list of wildlife I saw continues…. I was very fortunate to visit Yellowstone with a great group of people led by naturalist/photographer Mike Dunn. Who has not only taught me the names of all these beautiful animals, but explained their behavior and their characteristics. So what to look for what and when. Besides all that he knew Yellowstone like you couldn’t imagine. And it made this trip so special and it was absolutely an incredible experience which I will cherish for a long time.


“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”

~ Ansel Adams



10 thoughts on “Wildlife of Yellowstone

  1. Ik ga voor de vogels en het haasje, al het andere is iets te groot voor je moeder groetjes.

    Verstuurd vanaf mijn iPad

    Op 25 jun. 2014 om 22:00 heeft Euro Photo Graphics het volgende geschreven:

    > >

  2. Great story and great photo’s, I loved reading and watching. Yellowstone rocks, and you got to see it in the best way possible with such a great guide.

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