Field Trip Report, Day 7.

It was a great day for mammals in Yellowstone. There were plenty of bison, of course, blocking traffic in several cases, and a few elk about, but the big find, at least for me, was this wily coyote looking for something good to eat along the banks for a stream. Here you can see him noticing me standing on the opposite bank taking his picture.

Here you can see him showing how much he cares that I’m there.

We had come to the park early in hopes of spotting a moose, but today was not our day for moose. Instead, the mammals we saw, which were new to us, were much smaller, including this Uinta ground squirrel (Urocitellus armatus) munching on a dandelion blossom.

And this least chipmunk (Neotamias minimus), getting in on some of that dandelion action.

The early start also introduced us to a few more of the birds of Yellowstone, the biggest of which was this sandhill crane (Antigone canadensis).

And the smallest was either this female yellow warbler (Setophaga petechia)

Or this male Wilson’s warbler (Cardellina pusilla)

Or even this little masked bandit, who is a male MacGillivray’s warbler (Geothlypis tolmiei) and completely inside his range, not the male mourning warbler (Geothlypis philadelphia), who would be quit a bit out of his range and which I had mistakenly thought at first but spotted in Estabrook only two days later.

In between, there was this Canada jay (Perisoreus canadensis) causing a ruckus among the other birds in this pine tree.

Closer to the ground, I spotted a pair of these amazing fire-rim tortoiseshell or Milbert’s tortoiseshell (Aglais milberti) butterflies.

And Anne spotted for us this equally stunning variegated fritillary (Euptoieta claudia).

Finally, there are plenty of pretty flowers in bloom, such as this shooting star, known variously as Bonneville, desert, or slimpod (Dodecatheon conjugens).

And this lily, known variously as yellow avalanche, glacier, or dogtooth fawn (Erythronium grandiflorum), and which looks quite similar to the yellow trout lilies in Estabrook, eh?

Welp, it’s time for dinner, and tomorrow is another travel day, so that’s probably it till Sunday. See you then.

Published by Andrew Dressel

Theoretical and Applied Bicycle Mechanic, and now, apparently, Amateur Naturalist. In any case, my day job is teaching mechanics at UWM.

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