Within a week of moving to the remote town of Dubois, Wyoming, we had already seen a very welcome array of wildlife in our backyard, as well as the field directly beyond. We are ecstatic to live near rolling hills and the edge of the mountains where we have the honor of seeing these beautiful animals grazing, hunting, relaxing, or just passing through.
Below is a log of our backyard sightings, thus far; I will continue adding to and updating this post as I capture better pictures, and take note of any new arrivals. You can quickly access this post at any time from the Wildlife Sightings tab at the top of this site. A separate page for wildlife seen around town is in progress, and will also be found through that tab!
I must admit that at the moment, the eagle is my favorite - I had only seen one a few times before, and now we are so amazed to have this stunning bird of prey sweeping across the back field on a regular basis. Let me know in the comments who your favorite is! Let's see who will wander into the view of our kitchen window, next...
These fuzzy, big-eared deer are found abundantly in Dubois, and one of their favorite hang-outs is our backyard. We've seen antlers disappear and begin to grow again, and we can't wait for the arrival of the fawns!
Canada Geese (and goslings!)
Another staple in the back field are the geese, who nibble all day long, tuck their bills in for random naps, and perform goose yoga every now and then. Their honking every morning as they visit the river for fresh water is always a distinct and amusing commotion. The goslings first peeped out of the bushes in mid-May, and I'm hoping their very protective parents will bring them a bit closer, for family photos!
I had only seen two sets of ravens before moving to Wyoming, but they are certainly flourishing, here! Their beautiful glossy wings and powerful beaks are something to behold.
Believe it or not, there is an eagle (or two) who find the time to bestow their majesty upon us regularly! It's a huge treat, as these symbols of freedom had previously been an extremely rare sight, for me.
Immature Bald Eagle
Before reaching maturity, these look more like a golden eagle, with no white on their heads yet, at all! I was so excited to see this one a second time, with my camera in-hand! After some research, I'm guessing this amazing bird is around two years old.
Fantastic monochrome coloration makes these birds stand out anywhere, and I am delighted to have them around on a regular basis. I used to see these striking birds at picnics, when I was little.
These short-eared bunnies look a bit different than the ones I'm used to, but I believe they are a type of Cottontail, rather than a Snowshoe Hare out of winter garb. Feel free to let me know in the comments if you can identify them more specifically!
The last thing I expected in the wilds of Wyoming was a swan...in the air, no less, which I have never seen before in my life! But I've now seen this lovely fellow twice, and I believe some of his friends may be floating on the ponds outside of town.
These unique black and speckled birds forage as a ravenous flock, together in our backyard.
Their coloration varies greatly between brilliant red breasts and more dusty orange colors. These early birds love hanging out on our fence, awaiting the worm.
Uinta Ground Squirrels
These precious little furballs have invaded our backyard...or have we invaded theirs? Neither of us seems to mind one bit, as we find them adorable and they are quite bold with us around! At first we thought there was only a solo male, who we named Basil...but after a few weeks, a fluffy companion made herself known (aptly named Biscuit, as she appeared to have some buns in the oven), and it was an avalanche of fuzz, after that! We have seen five of them simultaneously, thus far, but I suspect their little army is bigger than they are letting on. Their chittering conversations with each other are too cute for words.
We put out a bird feeder at the beginning of May, and after a few days, a dozen or so of these little guys started devouring the seeds! They can empty a full feeder in two days if they want to. As with the ground squirrels, we can't say we mind at all! They have fascinating vocalizations, on top of their pretty, nut-brown coloration.
I caught a glimpse of a pair of seagulls flying gracefully above our yard, as if they didn't know the ocean was a thousand miles from Dubois!
Not the most revered of winged creatures, but these massive scavengers appear to have beautiful half-silver wings, when you see them circling high in the thermal winds. Once in awhile, they come down close enough to show off their red, bare heads.
Two stoic herons flew across our mountain view, and I wished so badly that I had my camera available at that moment!
Another visitor to the wild bird feeder, with a very noticeable cap of black and white. Hopefully they will become regulars!
Brewer's Blackbird (male)
I suspected a Grackle, which apparently is a common misidentification, but this beautiful black boy with intense yellow eyes and a bit of a short tail is actually a Brewer's Blackbird!
Brewer's Blackbird (female)
This subtle, classy lady is the softer side to the black males, above.
With their dusty orange breasts, beautiful blue backs, and long, forked tails, these birds are quite a treat to see, if you can catch a clear glimpse! They fly erratically, diving and swooping over the back field early in the morning. This is the only picture I've managed to snatch, thus far!
The hummers have been shy this summer, but we've seen a few with stunning gorget feathers! Pictures pending.
I saw this guy soaring very high up, but I will keep my eagle eyes out for him again in the hopes of getting a closer shot.
I've seen these beauties perching and diving outside, and can't wait to catch a picture of them! They gleam like an emerald when the light hits them, right. I believe I have also spotted Tree Swallows, but I can't be sure yet!
Thank you for your patience with the above "Pictures Pending" entries - my zoom lens has been out for repair. I will add pictures as soon as I capture them!
Honorable mention goes out to the two orange, white, and black spiders I've found in our new digs, to date. In deference to the arachnophobes out there, I'll withhold the photographic evidence!
*Identification: I use the BirdNET app to identify sounds, WhatBird to search by shape, Google Images to confirm minute visual details, along with other websites, local resources, and field guides, to attempt accurate identification of the animals and birds I see and photograph. If anything above is misidentified, please be sure to let me know in the comments - I love to learn!