Tuesday, February 26, 2013

WINNER IN A HEAD-BUTTING CONTEST

According to National Geographic,  Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep live in the mountains from Canada south to New Mexico.  They have keen vision and are sure footed with hooves built for natural grip.

DH and I knew where a herd hangs out near the highway in Jackson Hole, Wyoming 
and we were rewarded with views of this big guy hustling down a rocky cliff.

Where do bighorn sheep go in the winter?

Anywhere they want to.

This handsome ram is part of a herd of bachelors who were crossing the 
road to find feed on the other side.

Up on the hill was a nursery of mommas and their new lambs. 
Ewes live in herds with other females and their young.

The babies are kept in high secluded ledges to protect them from 
predators such as wolves, coyotes and mountain lions.

Way-way up the cliff, almost out of reach of my camera lens, was the big daddy ram.
He'd won the right to be king of the hill by fighting off all challengers in a
head butting contest that probably could be heard a mile or so away.

15 comments:

gowestferalwoman said...

I remember when we first moved out here, mr foresterman really wanted to see bighorn sheep in the wild - it was like a lifelong dream...

then we spotted the herd, his first -

in someones front yard, eating grass around the lawn ornaments!


Linda Sue said...

Brrrr those babies will certainly strengthen the herd- being born on the side of a cold rock in the harsh winter! Hearty! Beautiful shots too!

Brian King said...

Oh, these are awesome, Leenie! I'm quite jealous! Love them! Nice shots!

Buttons said...

Love this I seen these for the first time from the train to Vancouver they were beautiful I loved the way they walked up the mountain. Great shots.

Oh by the way I want to snowshoe with you and see those swans:( have fun be safe on ice if you are on it I am not a fan of ice. B

joeh said...

Very cool!

Joanne Noragon said...

Just look at that bachelor chap standing there: "You looking at me!?"

TALON said...

Amazing captures, Leenie! I remember seeing some of these beauties when hubby and I traveled through the Rockies (years back before I had a decent camera) and I was amazed by their agility and fearlessness on those ledges!

Alica said...

That big daddy ram looks like he's quite proud of himself up there on top of the mountain! Great shots!

Birdie said...

Wow! Those are great pictures! I certainly would not want to get in front of one of them.

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Great shots. Head butting eh? Hmmm..the hubs and I do that on a regular basis.

Carla said...

Such amazing creatures. They must have the strongest skulls in the world.

Nancy Claeys said...

We saw BH sheep in the Black Hills some years ago -- gorgeous!

Val said...

Now THAT'S something I've never seen! Impressive photos.

Terry and Linda said...

Excellent post, Leenie! Your photos are outstanding and your information spot on!

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

Sarah said...

Beautiful and impressive creatures! I wouldn't want to get too close to those horns though. You have such a great variety of wildlife. I love it when you go out on your camera safaris!