Archive for May 2016

RFI: polar bears in Alaska

May 25, 2016

I am looking for advice to add a polar bear to Alaska birding trip in July. I know of two places, Barrow and Katkovik, and hope at least few polar bears are present in summer.  I plan to visit Barrow anyway. It seems that all commercial tours are in autumn and are tuned to photography at close range – I just want to see one or a few well. Ideal would be a confirmation, that few are now hanging outside Barrow and I can see them on my own.

If polar bears are unlikely in Alaska, then I will perhaps go to Churchill – best parks to complete a list of typical North American megafauna in C Canada would be interesting.



(apologies for wordpress blogs doing crazy things with formatting).

Surge in Texas Ocelot Deaths

May 25, 2016

Sad news from South Texas: the past year has seen a surge in ocelots dying on roads. Can underpasses help. My blog on the news released by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service yesterday.

New Trip Report: Paraguay

May 25, 2016

Here’s a report from Jon Lehmberg of a 2014 visit to Paraguay, a great destination for mammals.

Paraguay, 2014: Jon Lehmberg, 1 week & 21 species including 5 Armadillo speciesJaguarundi and a Tapir.




Vole/Lemming ID

May 24, 2016

I found the rodent pictured below underneath a piece of plywood on an abandoned railroad track near my home in Northeast Illinois. My best guess is that it was a meadow vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus). However, my internet research points to the Prairie Vole (M. ochrogaster) and Southern Bog Lemming Synaptomys cooperi) as also inhabiting similar habitats to the one where this was found (mostly prairie, near a woodland and some standing water). If anyone has an opinion as to what species this may be I’d love to hear it.

And another California Report

May 20, 2016

This time from Vladimir Dinets, who teamed up with Venkat Sankar last weekend.  They saw some nice stuff.

California Weekend, 2016: Vladimir Dinets, 1 week & some nice species including Mojave Ground SquirrelDark Kangaroo MouseAgile Kangaroo Rat, Pygmy Rabbit and White-eared Pocket Mouse.


New trip Report: Rhode Island

May 19, 2016

Here’s a short report of a few hours I spent looking for mammals in Rhode Island last weekend.   Ten species, including Meadow Jumping Mice, Southern Red-backed Vole, Southern Bog Lemming and what I think was a New England Cottontail (grateful for other’s views on what flavour of rabbit this is).



New Trip Report: California

May 19, 2016

Here’s a new report from Matthew and Maureen Hart who were in California just before I got there and obviously had a good time.

California, 2016: Matt and Maureen Hart, 2 weeks & 40 species including Northern Right Whale DolphinsNorthern Fur SealLong-tailed Weasel and San Joaquin Pocket Mouse.