November Sightings and Summary

November Sightings Summary

Long-tailed weasel by Jeff White

Keith Moore photographed a Long-tailed Duck at the Jackson Dam on December 12. These arctic breeding sea ducks sometimes find their way inland during fall migration, as this individual has! There are several records of this species on Yellowstone Lake, but to our knowledge, this is one of the first times one has been seen on Jackson Lake. 

Short-tailed weasel submitted by Ross McIntyre

Susie Caspar saw an ermine on Snow King at the Alpine Slide. Weasels can be tough to identify, and we have three species in the area which are all visually similar, long-tailed, short-tailed, and least. These species make use of a wide variety of habitats, and you never know where they are going to pop up! When in doubt, we encourage nature mappers to uses the “unknown weasel” option.

Jennifer Dorsey reported a Clark’s nutcracker near the Nelson Trailhead. This species is known for long distance travel; in 2015, a Clark’s nutcracker tagged in Jackson in the Fall ended up in Grand Staircase Escalante in southern Utah later that winter.

Common Raven by Debra Patla

Anna Knaeble saw a group of four mule deer near East Gros Ventre Butte. Mule deer are moving to lower elevations and will become increasingly common in town and along roadways as snow begins to accumulate. Wildlife-vehicle collisions involving mule deer tend to spike in Teton County in the winter – please be careful!

Hilary Turner reported a group of 20 elk walking west along the new exclusionary fencing (towards the fence end) on Highway 22. We’ve included another video of elk crossing the road near the 390 intersection in this enews. Despite the construction here, elk are still managing to make their way through, which is encouraging. Be cautious that some elk may be choosing to cross the surface of the road around the fence end at Wenzel Lane. Drive with care and look for animals.

White-tailed deer by Laurie Bay

Anna also found an photographed a western toad. Interestingly, not too far from the toad, she also found a boreal chorus frog sitting on the snow! We don’t know what these amphibians are doing out so late in the year, but they may be migrating to winter hibernacula and out a bit later than usual due to the mild start we have had to winter.

Kathy McCurdy reported a young bull moose on the Kelly Parcel and Frances Clark reported small “bachelor herds” starting to form near Blacktail Butte. Moose-watching here is fantastic right now and we recommend a drive out if you haven’t seen them yet.

Mary Gerty reported beaver along the Snake River, and Mallards, Swans, Wilson’s Snipe, and Ring-necked Ducks were all reported in the Rafter J neighborhood.

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