18 May 2014

We named him 'Brutus' the Brown Bear

One quick glance puts you right back in your place 

During May, the male Brown Bears have only one thing on their mind, females. Fortunately for myself and the photographers, so far they have also been extremely photogenic, coming in beautiful evening light and sometimes staying right up until sunrise. Since the start of May the bears have been plentiful, with several males regularly frequenting the area. I have seen approx. 7/8 different individuals - including the two cubs - in the area, which is a remarkable improvement on last season, where the number of bears in the local area was maybe half of what it has been presently.

This post is dedicated to one bear in particular, he has earned the title of 'Brutus', primarily for being very large and bearing the meanest of stares. He has been by far the largest male in the area since the start of May, with several characteristics making him easily identifiable. Firstly, his size in comparison to the females he pursues. Secondly, his 'grizzly' appearance, his head, neck and shoulders are very light in colour, coupled with the darkened roots, his colouring is particularly unique when compared to the other individuals. Lastly, his darkened lower eye sockets. When juxtaposed against his lighter fur - even at 200m - these markings are easily distinguishable.

The true size and strength can only be felt in the forest

After spending three exciting nights in the hides, I have made a large collection of images which need to sorted, edited and presented. I will shortly post 'nightly reports' on each of the three nights spent in the hides, due to the large volume of material which has amounted. Brutus was present on all three nights, particularly on the last night, where he gave a wonderful display of mating and dominant behaviour in the most beautiful light.
After spending more and more time in front of these incredible mammals, you start to develop a deeper understanding of their specific characteristics and behaviour, and dare I say it, personalities. Brutus is a very confident individual, which is expressed in his slow and lethargic movements. Due to the dominance he holds in the area, he spends more time demonstrating natural and relaxed behaviour (shown above), when compared to some of the younger males. The younger or smaller males typically spend most of their time alert, and on constant watch with their eyes and nose.

Evening reflection of an incredible machine