Wildlife Whereabouts: Cubs, Calves, & Nestlings

Bison calves are easy to spot this time of year. Their bright coats standout in bison herds and against the sagebrush.

Spring brings new life to Grand Teton National Park. The valley is a vibrant green and buzzing with the arrival of migratory birds and baby animals. Be safe and enjoy the park’s remarkable wildlife during this special time of year!

• Bison, moose, and elk calving seasons are at their peaks. Nearly all bison and elk have moved off of the National Elk Refuge. They will follow snow melt and vegetation green-up to northern parts of the valley, some as far north as southern Yellowstone National Park.

• Wolf pups are making their first exploratory appearances from their dens.

• Female black and grizzly bears with cubs are now out and about, but those with cubs of the year are making only small movements so that their tiny cubs can keep up. Two female grizzly bears with 2 cubs of the year have been observed in the park this spring: Grizzly bear 399 (21 years old this year) and the female known as “Blondie” (or her research number 793).

• Neotropical migrating birds (western tanagers, hummingbirds, warblers, osprey, and others) have returned to the valley and are beginning nesting activities.

• Cutthroat trout are initiating spawning as water levels rise with spring runoff.

• Bald eagle eggs have hatched and young nestlings are being closely guarded by their brooding parents.

• High rivers and streams resulting from melting snow and recent rainfall represent a significant hazard to baby bears, elk, moose, and bison.

• The sage grouse strutting season has ended and hens have dispersed from leks to nest at brood rearing sites in adjacent sagebrush grasslands.

• This time of year, nesting raptors often vocalize alarm calls when you are too close to their nests. Bears, moose, bison, and elk are also particularly protective of their young. Please remember to give all wildlife a wide berth. If you are altering an animal’s behavior, such as eliciting an alarm call or any other kind of vigilance or aggression directed at you, you are too close!

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