March of the Bison

BIson and Calf Hanging Out Near My Home, April 2008Last year bison frequented my neighborhood in the late winter and spring, the long winter driving them to the limits of Yellowstone’s northern range in greater numbers than usual.  Bison would sometimes peer into the window of my home, and bison calves frolicked and napped in my front yard. I have missed the abundance of bison visits this year as the lighter snowpack made it easier for the animals to obtain food in Yellowstone’s interior.

Overall, it’s been a better year for bison. The harsh winter last year forced a large number of the animals to migrate outside the park boundary, where they risk being slaughtered. Nearly fifty percent of the park’s iconic herd was lost last year—with over 1,400 being shipped to slaughter. This year, park management has not had to kill any animals leaving the confines of the park.

This evening, a herd of bison marched in front of my house, perhaps trying to escape this abrupt snowstorm that interrupted a week of beautiful spring weather—below is a short video of the herd.