Backyard Wildlife Sightings

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...


Mule Deer


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!


Mule deer jumping and bounding above field in small remote mountain town of Dubois, Wyoming.
A deer bounding multiple feet above the frozen ground.

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!


Canada Geese flying over the mountains in small remote mountain town of Dubois, Wyoming.
Geese against the mountainous backdrop behind our house.

Ravens


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.


Raven silhouette swooping and flying in winter sky in small remote mountain town of Dubois, Wyoming.
A raven in silhouette, swooping out of our backyard.

Bald Eagle


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.


American Eagle or Bald Eagle soaring in small remote town of Dubois, Wyoming.
A stunning eagle soaring over the back field, looking fierce!

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.



Magpies


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.


Magpie flies over winter field in small remote mountain town of Dubois, Wyoming.
All this magpie needs is an olive leaf - he's well on his way to becoming a dove!

Cottontail Rabbit


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!


Cottontail rabbit eating grass in winter in small remote mountain town of Dubois, Wyoming.
This sweet little bunny hopped into our backyard to nibble on our winter grass.

Swan


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.


Swan flying over snowy mountains in small remote mountain town of Dubois, Wyoming.
A lone swan traversing the dreary skies, in search of its lifelong mate.

European Starlings


These unique black and speckled birds forage as a ravenous flock, together in our backyard.



American Robins


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.


American Robin in Dubois, Wyoming
A fluffy, wet Robin, through our rainy window.

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.



House Sparrows


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.



Seagulls


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!


Turkey Vultures


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.



Herons


Two stoic herons flew across our mountain view, and I wished so badly that I had my camera available at that moment!


White-Crowned Sparrow


Another visitor to the wild bird feeder, with a very noticeable cap of black and white. Hopefully they will become regulars!


White-Crowned Sparrow in Dubois, Wyoming

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 in Dubois, Wyoming

Brewer's Blackbird (female)


This subtle, classy lady is the softer side to the black males, above.



Barn Swallow


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!



Calliope Hummingbird


The hummers have been shy this summer, but we've seen a few with stunning gorget feathers! Pictures pending.


Red-Tailed Hawk


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.



Violet-Green Swallow


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!