November Wildlife Photo Page: Bobcats, Pikas, Turkeys & More

Corinne Westeman
cwesteman@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 11/22/22

In honor of Colorado Parks & Wildlife’s 125th anniversary this year, the Clear Creek Courant and the Canyon Courier will have a monthly photo page celebrating the state’s amazing wildlife and parks. For November, the mountain newspapers are celebrating bison, bobcats, pikas and any Colorado wildlife that hasn't been previously featured.

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November Wildlife Photo Page: Bobcats, Pikas, Turkeys & More

Posted

In honor of Colorado Parks & Wildlife’s 125th anniversary this year, the Clear Creek Courant and the Canyon Courier will have a monthly photo page celebrating the state’s amazing wildlife and parks. Each page will celebrate a different local animal or group of animals, including fun facts provided by CPW. For November, the mountain newspapers are celebrating bobcats, pikas and any Colorado wildlife that hasn't been previously featured.

ANIMAL FUN FACTS:

  • Bison, unfortunately, are no longer naturally occurring wildlife in Colorado, as all current populations are captive and considered livestock. Bison once lived nearly statewide, but were most abundant on the plains, in the mountain parks and western basins. They also visited forests and above timberline, as they were migratory and moved in huge herds around the state. Colorado's last wild bison were killed in South Park in 1897.
  • Bobcats are well-known but secretive and seldom seen in Colorado. They're most abundant in the foothills, canyons, mesas and plateaus, where brush and woodland provide suitable habitat. Bobcats tend to avoid open prairies, tundra, heavy sub-alpine timber and wetlands. They mainly eat rabbits, hunting by stealth rather than engaging in long chases. When rabbits are scarce, they will eat mice, voles and birds.
  • Coyotes are about the size and shape of a small shepherd dog, and weigh 30-40 pounds. They can live up to 20 years, but 10 is the average. They live throughout Colorado, where they thrive despite attempts to control or eradicate them. Coyotes eat plants and meat, foraging for birds, eggs, rabbits, carrion, insects, fruit, and items found in garbage cans and dumpsters. They're active any time of day or night, but mostly at dawn and dusk.
  • Black-footed ferrets have probably never been abundant in Colorado. However, the animal widely considered to be the most endangered mammal in North America is making a comeback. It was rescued from the brink of extinct in the 1980s, and local wildlife officials have done controlled releases in northwest and eastern Colorado. For more information on these efforts, visit cpw.state.co.us.
  • Pikas, despite their similarities to members of the squirrel family, are actually close relatives of rabbits and hares. Thanks to their rock-gray color, they're seldom seen until their shrill call reveals their presence. They're about the size and shape of a guinea pig, and live in rockpiles near and above timberline.
  • Pumas or mountain lions have many names: cougars, catamounts, panthers and lions. They have the largest geographic range of any native mammal (other than humans), ranging from western Canada to Argentina. They also once inhabited the entire continental United States, but their eastern populations are extinct or endangered. Colorado's population is most abundant in the foothills, canyons and mesa country. Pumas are more at home in brushy areas and woodlands than in forests or open prairies.
  • Turkeys have 5,000-6,000 feathers when they're adults. Wild turkeys are able to fly and sometimes sleep in trees. They see three times better than humans, as they can distinguish colors and have 270-degree vision. Benjamin Franklin preferred turkeys to bald eagles as the National Bird, describing the turkey as "a bird of courage."

GOT PARKS PHOTOS?

The final photo page in December will celebrate Colorado's state parks. To contribute to the Dec. 29 page, email photos to cwesteman@coloradocommunitymedia.com before Dec. 19. Include the photographer’s name, and the date and location the photo was taken. The photo can be of any state park in Colorado and doesn't have to be recent.

november, wildlife, photo, page, cpw, colorado, parks, wildlife, bobcat, pika, bison, buffalo, turkey, black footed, ferret, coyote, puma, mountain lion, cougar,

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