Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Denali - Moose

I see Moose every evening when I check the Denali road for critters. As in the above image the bulls are in velvet and just sprouting their antlers. The velvet is loaded with blood vessels which nourish the antlers until they stop growing and the bull scrapes the velvet off in August. Can't wait to see these guys when they have their full head gear in the fall. The odd clump of hair that hangs below the lower jaw is called a bell. Researchers think that the males dampen the bell in some urine soaked earth and then mark rear of the cow indicating to others that she has been mated.

In few summer months here in Denali, moose antlers can grow from knobs you see in the photos to huge racks that can weigh as much as 80 pounds. A pound of antler growth can be added a day.

This younger fellow below, with barely new showing knobs, has a few seasons before he will be battling the big guys.

Below is a typical scene in the evening on the way back to my cabin.

Next post will be the Lynx.

Blue Skies.


Tim Rucci said...

Hi Ken,
Nice moose shots, and an informative update. Have you seen any really young ones yet? I'm curious about the size of a moose that is less than a year old. Any guess on the age of the young one you posted?

HBFG said...

Impressive Impressive!

Rajesh said...

I do agree with Tim. It is a informative post with nice snaps.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

A most informative post again Ken. That is an interesting bit about marking the females. There is so much about animals we will never know for sure unfortunatley.

What a beautiful scene on your way home at night and I love the pics of the moose. They are kind of ugly though aren't they? :)

fishing guy said...

Ken: amazing that they can grow those big horns.

Bradley Myers said...

Fantastic as always Ken, but the last photo says it all. All to often I concentrate on the wildlife and forget about the big picture. Looking forward to the next post.

Twisted Fencepost said...

Great shots, Ken!
But you knew that, didn't you? tee hee
I have not seen a moose in real life, this would be an exciting adventure for me. I don't know how you get anything done with all the wildlife to snap pics of.

Ken Conger Photography said...

To answer your questions:
1) I have not seen any new calves yet. I checked with one of the wildlife guys last night and he has not either. They are usually hid fairly well at first until they can run well from the wolves and grizzly bears.
2) The young guy pictured is a one year old with buttons.
Blue Skies,

koand said...

rewelacyjne zdjęcia , tylko pozazdrościć , ostatnie zdjęcie z górami prześliczne, pozdrawiam , Andrzej :)

Juan C. Aguero said...

Good document, you are very lucky!!

Andor Marton said...

Nice shots Ken as always and useful information. I saw some moose once in Sweden in a kind of zoo, they are interesting and somehow hilarious looks like animals.

gidje said...

Whoa! very cool.

The Birdlady said...

Such a wonderful adventure! Thanks for taking the time to share.