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273 and coy on a frosty morning Snapshot by Christy1

273 and coy on a frosty morning Snapshot by Christy1

Bearcam Week in Review October 11, 2019

Hi and welcome to our weekly Bear Cam blog. We will be publishing this blog every week with a review of the previous weeks Bear Cam highlights. Brought to you by your bear cam Mods, LaniH and GABear. This weeks highlight video can be viewed here.

After a week of voting in a single elimination Fat Bear Week Tournament, one very Fat Bear emerged victorious!  435 Holly squashed her final opponent, 775 Lefty.  Votes rolled in by the thousands as fans decided her rolls of fat exceeded that of all other contestants.  Congratulations to our Holly on the win!!

NPS Photo/ L. Carter

NPS Photo/ L. Carter

It wasn’t for a lack of effort on the part of fans supporting other bears that Holly won, though.  This blog contains a sampling of the campaign posters made by our viewers.

How big are our bears anyway?  That question has been asked often. In September, terrestrial laser scanning technology was used to scan 5 bears at Brooks Falls to try to answer that question.  Here are the results on 747 posted by Katmai National Park and Preserve Facebook.

747 scan

In this blog, Mike Fitz discusses how the scanning technology was used on the bears and the results obtained from the scans of 4 other bears –  480 Otis, 151 Walker, 32 Chunk and 854 Divot.

On Thursday, the cams viewing the Lower River went offline for the season.  We thought they were going to go off September 29, but we were fortunate that Katmai was able to leave them on line an additional 10 days.  They run from a park generator which is shut down when camp is winterized and staff leaves for the season. We will continue to have views from the Brooks Falls, Riffles and Dumpling Mountain cams as long as the weather and the solar powered batteries hold out.

Last sow and cubs seen on RW cam 273 and coy Snapshot by Shel_

Last sow and cubs seen on RW cam 273 and coy Snapshot by Shel_

As the photo up at the top shows, the seasons are changing quickly at the Brooks River.  Frosty mornings, golden grasses, leaves falling and snow on the mountain tops means our bears will be ramping up their feeding in preparation for denning.  Some bears may have left the river already and more will follow in the coming weeks. Most will be gone by the end of October.

Snow capped mountain Snapshot by Moon river

Snow capped mountain Snapshot by Moon river

Golden grasses of the lower river Snapshot by BarbaraHoran

Golden grasses of the lower river Snapshot by BarbaraHoran

A couple of bears we did not see spending time at the river this fall did make a brief appearance this week.  89 Backpack was seen at the falls.

89 Backpack Snapshot by tzusrule

89 Backpack Snapshot by tzusrule

And 634 Popeye gave us a great view of his massive size, too.

634 Popeye at the falls Snapshot by LaniH

634 Popeye at the falls Snapshot by LaniH

480 Otis, who was fishing mostly in the Lower River area last week, moved back to the Falls this week.  He has fished in the jacuzzi, but as this pic shows, is having the most success in his “office” area against the far wall.

480 Otis makes a catch in his office Snapshot by SgtPepper

480 Otis makes a catch in his office Snapshot by SgtPepper

755 Scare D Bear has been a regular at the falls.  Also a member of the damaged ear club, he is sometimes confused with Otis, but he’s a huge, beautiful bear in his own right.

755 Scare D Bear Snapshot by CamOp Scout

755 Scare D Bear Snapshot by CamOp Scout

Bear 879 also spent some time up at the falls when we had usually been seeing him snorkeling on the lower river.

879 looking very large Snapshot by KimBear17

879 looking very large Snapshot by KimBear17

775 Lefty who lost to 435 Holly showed up at the falls this past week to give us another good look at how fat he’d managed to get while fishing the lip.

775 Lefty Snapshot by CamOp Arya

775 Lefty Snapshot by CamOp Arya

504, a sow we have not seen much this year,  and who is the mom of bear 821, showed up on the closed trail. Wherever she has been, she’s had a lot of success fishing.

504 Snapshot by lsearls

504 Snapshot by lsearls

An unknown sow with two coy showed up on the lower river as well this past week.

Sow with two coy Snapshot by kcanada

Sow with two coy Snapshot by kcanada

On Wednesday evening, we got a good view of a wolf prowling the Lower River looking for fish or scraps.

Wolf on Bear Cam

The underwater cam gave us a glimpse of Goldeneye ducks diving in search of food.

Goldeneye Duck Dives - Bear cam

One even seemed to be checking out the underwater camera

Goldeneye Duck Snapshot by Lilb_me

Goldeneye Duck Snapshot by Lilb_me

On our last evening for Lower River Cams, nature treated us to a beautiful rainbow.

Rainbow Snapshot by CamOp Aspire

Rainbow Snapshot by CamOp Aspire

482’s cubs were seen enjoying a play session on the Lower River.

482's cubs playing in the river Snapshot by GreenRiver

482’s cubs playing in the river Snapshot by GreenRiver

482’s cubs were also caught spying on the 94 family.  :-)

482's yearlings peek at 94's yearlings Snapshot by LaniH

482’s yearlings peek at 94’s yearlings Snapshot by LaniH

On Thursday evening a magpie seemed intent on annoying a subadult bear thought to be 908. The magpie flew around the bear and even poked her in the bottom.

Magpie Pokes Bear Butt

Bearcam viewer Survey

Just how important is an individual animal? How might the famous bearcam bears influence conservation efforts? Mike Fitz talks about this survey here.

Please help us answer those questions and more by taking this survey.

 

Are You There Brown Bear

Mike Fitz has launched a Community Science Project where your snapshot can help monitor information about the bears you see on the cams.

This community science project will supplement the Brooks River bear monitoring program by recording observations of bears during and outside official monitoring sessions, essentially extending one aspect of the bear monitoring program through an entire summer and beyond as long as the webcams are functioning.

To participate: After taking a Snapshot, click on “Community Science” below the snapshot.

community science

The 2019 Bears of Brooks River ebook is available for downloading here.

  • Pansy2

    I love catching up on the bearcam news with this blog! The pics are especially welcome along with the commentary. Thanks to everyone who contributes to it and keeps it going. I’m already looking forward to next season .. hopefully I will be able to spend more time watching.
    Thanks for an utterly enjoyable 2019 season Explore!

  • mosaic_world

    thanks for the pics and id’s. that magpie gif is funny. I think even Otis gets annoyed by them (or some other bird)…

  • patricia

    At the Wildlife Conservation Canter in Portage last summer, I watched a raven exhibit same behavior. It hopped around a sitting elk and then poked him in the butt so that he jumped up. He then did same to two other elk and when they all walked away he strutted around as if very pleased with himself. It is my favorite memory of the visit.