Grazing bull- Nikon D200, handheld, f9, 1/320, ISO 250, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 18-200mm VR at 130mm, natural light
The American Bison on Antelope Island are starting to show signs of shedding their winter coats and for awhile they will look a bit ratty. In this image you can see a couple of patches where the winter coat has been shed, directly behind the Bison’s right front leg, in front of the right back leg and its hindquarters.
Scratching Bison bull- Nikon D200, handheld, f9, 1/640, ISO 250, Nikkor 18-200mm VR at 200mm, natural light
The Bison do a whole lot of scratching while they shed, on the ground, against the huge boulders that dot the island and if they can they rub against some of the signs. It must feel good to eventually get the loosened winter coat completely off.
Bison bull rubbing its belly on the ground- Nikon D200, handheld, f9, 1/750, ISO 250, Nikkor 18-200mm VR at 130mm, natural light
This bull rocked back and forth against the ground in this position for over a minute, I am still not sure what it was doing.
Bison bull standing up- Nikon D200, handheld, f9, 1/640, ISO 250, Nikkor 18-200mm VR at 135mm, natural light
Afterwards the bull stood up and started to graze. It is lovely to see the grassy slopes of the island turning green, to see the silvery green new growth on the Sagebrush and feel the warmth of the sun on my own skin.
These images were taken two days ago, yesterday I woke to a very light snow on the ground and there may be snow flurries today. Crazy weather is normal for spring in Utah.
Bison Bull on Antelope Island
This Bison bull weighs in at about 1,500 pounds, he is wild and you don’t want to tick him off like one man did on Antelope Island last weekend. These behemoths can move fast when they need to which is why when they are running you can hear their thunderous hooves. They aren’t domesticated cows and they aren’t tame.
I’m on Antelope Island a lot and I’ve seen incidents where I thought someone might get trampled a few times. Once it was some women that walked within 20 to 25 feet of grazing Bison. I was very glad the Bison didn’t charge them. Later that same day from a long distance away I saw a man walk too close to a bull and the Bison made a mock charge at him. I was glad the guy didn’t end up flattened like a pancake. Last fall I saw a guy in red pants, his bicycle laying down on the shoulder of the road walk up to it with a tiny point and shoot camera and the Bison charged him but stopped, the guy didn’t even have a vehicle to jump into for protection. That wasn’t smart because before he could have gotten on that bike the Bison would have run over him. Believe it or not the guy walked closer one more time to get more images.
Last weekend a guy from Colorado got too close to a Bison bull and in return the bull slammed him into a chain link fence. You can read about it here: Man walks away from bison attack unharmed
There was a photographer taking pictures of the bull and the man and his image in the article shows the man being slammed into the fence and stated that the man might have provoked the Bison along with other witnesses.
The guy is lucky that he isn’t dead. The article said he was embarrassed.
He ought to be. You don’t tick off a wild Bison dude.
KSL.com interviewed the “A Bison Slammed Me into a Fence” guy and he claimed he was trying to protect some runners in Antelope Island Buffalo Run. You can read what he said here: Man pinned by bison says he worried for racers’ safety
I’m glad the guy is alive.
But I think he should have been cited for harassing that Bison.
More Bison images
We’ve gotten a lot of snow in the Salt Lake Valley since Friday, I swept at least a foot of snow off my vehicle yesterday and about 3 to 4 inches on Friday, as I write this the snow is still falling.
We went out to Antelope Island yesterday despite the gray skies, low light and the falling snow and while most of the birds and animals were hunkered down, the Bison were not.
Bison fighting in a snow storm – Nikon D200, handheld, f5.6, 1/250, ISO 400, +1.7 EV, Nikkor 18-200mm VR at 70mm, natural light
Early in the morning the snow fall was heavy and the light was a challenge. In the image above even though I had used +1.7 exposure compensation I still had to lighten the darks some in post processing to show fine details.
As I photographed two Bison that were grazing close together they began to fight, with the snow coming down hard it was difficult to get images where the eyes of both Bison showed. These two fought for about a minute then separated and grazed some more.
Bison on a snowy day – Nikon D200, handheld, f5.6, 1/640, ISO 400, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 18-200mm VR at 200mm, natural light
Later on when the snow was coming down lighter I was able to get images that showed the nice detail of the snow-covered Bison fur.
Bison in the snow – Nikon D200, handheld, f5.6, 1/640, ISO 400, +1.0 EV, Nikkor 18-200mm VR at 95mm, natural light
This Bison walked past with the Great Salt Lake in the background. The snow on his face is there because he had been pushing his nose through the snow to get to the grass below it.
Bison bull on a snowy winter day – Nikon D200, handheld, f5.6, 1/640, ISO 400, +1.0, Nikkor 18-200mm VR at 65mm, natural light
I love seeing the Bison in the snow.
Antelope Island sure looks beautiful right now.
PS: It snowed a couple more inches overnight!
It has been a slow week bird-wise but never the less I’ve been out taking images of birds and mammals such as this grazing Bison bull near the Visitor Center on Antelope Island State Park with the Great Salt Lake and Promontory Point in the background.
Great Horned Owl
Then finding a Great Horned Owl in an unusual and unexpected location near a bridge on the cause way to Antelope Island State Park. There are some Rabbitbrush nearby, plenty of boulders and mud flats. I thought it was just a fluke and that the owl would quickly move on but I spotted the owl in that location again two days ago. This is a terrible image and I hope to get the owl in better light if it does stick around.
Coyote baring teeth
I think this Coyote was just urinating as it stopped in front of the pickup but I am not sure why it was baring its teeth in this frame at all.
The sweet calls of Horned Larks have been delighting me out on Antelope Island and in the west desert, this male was shaking its feathers after a very brief preening session.
Young Pronghorn Buck
This is a young Pronghorn buck that came so close to the pickup two days ago that I opted to just do portraits of him as he chewed on some vegetation.
Adult White-crowned Sparrow on a wild Rose
There are several wild Rose bushes along the gravel roads at Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area and at this time of the year I always hope to find sparrows perched on them because of the red rosehips, this image didn’t have the rose hips visible but I like the alert pose of the adult White-crowned Sparrow, the laciness of the leaves and the smooth background.
Just a few images from this past week.
Bison bull grazing – Nikon D200, handheld, f13, 1/500, ISO 320, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 18-200mm VR at 105mm, natural light
Yesterday I had an opportunity to photograph this Bison bull grazing on Antelope Island State Park with the mountains of Promontory Point in the background with just a small bit of the Great Salt Lake showing too.
Bison bull grazing with Promontory Point in the background – Nikon D200, handheld, f13, 1/500, ISO 320, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 18-200mm VR at 80mm, natural light
The Bison was so close that I had to put my D300 with the Nikkor 200-400mm VR lens attached down and grab my backup D200 with the Nikkor 18-200mm VR lens to get these images.
I’ve wanted to take images of Bison with the mountains and the Great Salt Lake in the background for a while now, maybe next time there will be snow on the ground!
More American Bison images