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GrandLakeGGSpring2015

rounds a bend. A mama bear will be protective of her cubs so be sure to never get between them! Bears usually have a clumsy, plodding walk but they can move like greased lightning. Bears have been known to come right up to cabin doors if trash is left out. In most cases, they will detect you and leave, but if you see a bear, calmly and slowly leave the area. Do not run or make sudden movements. Hummingbirds are beautiful tiny birds that weigh only two to three grams. They make their annual pilgrimage from South America to the Rockies beginning in June. The humming noise is from their wings which beat 80 times a second. It is the only bird that can fly backward and its feet are only for perching, not walking. Due to their fast breathing and heart rate, they eat often and a lot and they love the sweet, Rocky Mountain wild flowers. It’s easy to see why mule deer get their name — their ears resemble those of a mule. Their large protruding ears turn independently to hear faraway sounds. Brownish gray in color, they have a white rump and a small white tail with a black tip. The male deer grow antlers during the summer and fall, and shed them each spring. They tend to stay in small herds and come out in the early morning and early evening. Fawns have white spots to help them hide, which they keep until winter. Mule deer move with a bounding leap, touching all four feet to the ground at once. Be very careful driving at dusk. Deer tend to be close to the highway. The Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, the official Colorado state animal, is found only in the Rockies, usually above timberline. With massive horns, these large animals are known for their agility and perfect sense of balance. They are relatives of goats and have balance-aiding split hooves and rough hoof bottoms for natural grip. These attributes, along with keen vision, help them move easily on rocky, rugged mountain terrain. The red fox is so adaptable that it can be found almost anywhere. Its long bushy tail with distinctive white tip provides balance for large jumps and complex movements. Its strong legs allow it to reach speeds of approximately 45mph, a great benefit for catching prey and evading predators. Coyotes are smaller than wolves. They communicate with a distinctive call, which at night often develops into a raucous canine chorus. These adaptable animals will eat almost anything. Coyotes are formidable in the field where they enjoy keen vision and a strong sense of smell. They can run up to 40mph. In the fall and winter, they form packs for more effective hunting. Coyotes also form strong family groups. In spring, females den and give birth to litters of three to twelve pups. Both parents feed and protect their young and their territory. The pups are able to hunt on their own by the following fall. The pika is a cute, small flower-gathering relative of the rabbit and has adapted to the cold climate of high-elevation boulder fields and alpine meadows. The chipmunk has stripes on its face, a pointed nose, and a bushy tail. They scurry around trying to steal food. These cute little beggars will convince you they are starving. Please don’t feed them. If they become dependent on handouts, they will be unable to find food after you go home. The marmot, also known as the whistle pig, lives in and around tree line and loves to sun on the boulder-strewn slopes. For expanded information, visit our website e www.GrandLakeChamber.com 13


GrandLakeGGSpring2015
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