Sharp-tailed grouse mating dance
Dance like no one is watching, or like you're a sharp-tailed grouse.
Every spring, sharp-tailed grouse form mating grounds, or leks, where they congregate to compete for territories and perform mating displays. This crowded scene leads to fighting among the males as they attempt to dance and win the affections of the females.
Video footage filmed by USFWS at Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge in Montana. Video description: a sharp-tailed grouse taps its little feet quickly back and forth as it spins in circles. It raises its pointy tail and wings up in the air as it performs a dance.
Across the country over 6 million barriers are blocking transportation networks for fish and other aquatic wildlife. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is bringing big wins for fish passage, local communities and restoring free-flowing waters. http://ow.ly/btPG50Lm80p
Video by Ryan Hagerty/USFWS
Video description: a large group of alewife fish swim in a fast moving stream. The fish dart back and forth as they swim in place.
Which wildlife trick-or-treater are you?
1️⃣ Blue jay: Gobbling up the goodies
2️⃣ Dark-eyed junco: Cautious and apprehensive
3️⃣ Black-capped chickadee: Efficient and focused
4️⃣ Eastern chipmunk: Just checking the inventory
🎥 by USFWS
Video description: A bowl reading "please take one 🎃" is filled with dried meal worms, sunflower seeds, pine cones and peanuts. A blue jay arrives and puts as many peanuts as possible in its mouth. A dark-eyed junco approaches cautiously to choose a snack. Black-capped chickadees quickly make a selection and leave. An eastern chipmunk surveys the scene then leaves.
You're probably familiar with the backstroke, but what about bat stroke?! 🦇 🥇
Researchers at Brown University used high-resolution, high-speed video cameras to view the details of swimming motion patterns in bats for comparisons to their wing movement during flight. They discovered many similarities in the sequence of motions... however, water's physical properties (high density and viscosity) influence not only the rate and magnitude of motions at most joints, but also the lag times between some joint actions!
In addition to their fascinating anatomy and physiology, bats play an essential role in a healthy, balanced natural world... for instance, by eating insects, which amounts to billions of dollars in “free” pest control services. We work with public and private partners to conserve bats across America and around the globe.
Be honest, did you know bats could swim? #BatWeek
Video: Big brown bat swimming courtesy of Swartz/Breuer Labs, Brown University
Video description: A bat swims in water
Baby Loggerheads Sea Turtles Night Hatch
It has been a record summer for sea turtles across the southern United States!
In Georgia alone, more than 3,966 loggerhead sea turtles nested. That’s 10 more than the 2019 state record. Nesting season ended in August and now the hatchlings will be emerging through the end of October. https://fws.gov/story/2020-08/leave-only-footprints-sea-turtles
Recently, a group of USFWS employees and volunteers from Share the Beach got to cheer on some adorable baby loggerhead sea turtles as they hatched and made their way to the ocean.
We work alongside partner organizations and communities to educate beachgoers and those living along the coast about how they can help sea turtles. Sea turtles depend on the natural light of the moon to navigate in and out of the water at night. Artificial lighting from condominiums, houses and businesses, and even concentrations of bright flashlights on the beach can confuse and disorient the nesting turtle. Simple solutions like keeping outside lights low at night and not harassing sea turtles on the beach can help these amazing creatures during nesting season.
Video: Nicole Vidal/USFWS
Description: Nighttime footage of baby sea turtles hatching from their nest and crawling to the ocean as people watch and cheer from a distance.
What was that? It was the sound of all your worries falling away. Take a moment to relax and enjoy this moment of wolf pup cuteness.
This Mexican wolf pup was captured on a trail camera in New Mexico this summer. Wolves have strong sense of caution and fear, but they are also inquisitive and playful animals. This combination of neophobia (fear of new things) and curiosity work together to teach important survival skills. Learning the difference between a threat (cars on a road) and a non-threat (a stone rolling down a hill) are all part of a wolf's development.
Video: Mexican Wolf Interagency Management Team
Description: a young wolf pup stops on a walk to watch a rock roll down a hill next to them.
The Chinook salmon featured here travel a total of 280 miles in freshwater by the time they reach Battle Creek located on Coleman National Fish Hatchery in Shasta County, California. These salmon are anadromous meaning they are born in freshwater, migrate to salt water (Pacific Ocean in this case) and then return to their natal stream to spawn. Salmon have an amazing ability to find the specific location where they were born by using the earth's magnetism and the smell of the water!
If you're in Northern California this weekend, come see these Chinook salmon in real life at Coleman's Return of the Salmon Festival, Saturday, October 15: http://ow.ly/72tY50LaN34
Video of tons of Chinook salmon in Battle Creek at Coleman National Fish Hatchery by Laura Mahoney/USFWS
A very hungry caterpillar!
This is the caterpillar stage of the zyphr-eyed silkmoth, a giant silkworm moth found only in New Mexico and West Texas. When it turns into an adult moth, it could have a wingspan up 4 inches!
Video description: a black caterpillar with hundreds of green spikes and red feet eats a leaf.
Video by Anna Blades/USFWS
We interrupt your feed to show you this very important video of a sea otter practicing self care.
TGIF! Congrats, you made it through the week! Here's a few quick facts about sea otters:
✅ They eat 25% of their body weight every day (same).
✅ They can dive as deep as 250 ft and hold their breath up to 5 minutes at a time.
✅ The sea otter is the largest member of the weasel family, yet smallest marine mammal in North America.
Wow your friends and family with some otterly pawsome sea otter facts this weekend: http://ow.ly/xXVg50KRVlU
Video of a northern sea otter grooming while floating on water by Lisa Hupp/USFWS
2022 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest
This ruddy duck is either showing off his courtship moves or is super excited about the Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest. Join us for day 1 of this year's contest to discover which stamps will help raise tens of millions of dollars for wildlife conservation! Event begins at 10:00 am EST: https://youtu.be/9ULo76ppTUs
Every Duck Stamp sold contributes directly to habitat conservation that supports migratory birds and other wildlife. Put your stamp on conservation: http://ow.ly/ZKWq50KPR1s
Video: Ruddy duck at Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge by Tom Koerner/USFWS
Description: A duck wades in the calm waters of a pond. Natural sounds of frogs fill the air with noise and chirps. The duck moves his head up and down very rapidly and then makes a faint squeak noise.
Northern sea otter spinning
We're flippin' excited for #SeaOtterAwarenessWeek! When sea otters spin like this, they trap air for insulation since they don't have blubber. It's both functional and fancy!
Video of a northern sea otter grooming and spinning on Kodiak National Wildlife's nearshore waters in Alaska.
Video by Lisa Hupp/ U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Alaska
It's Sea Otter Awareness Week! Held every year during the last week in September, we're spotlighting the important role of sea otters in nearshore ecosystems!
Today's word of the day: Raft.
A group of resting sea otters is called a raft! Otters love to rest in groups. Researchers have seen concentrations of over 1,000 otters floating together. To keep from drifting away from each other, sea otters will wrap themselves up in seaweed, forming something that resembles a raft.
Video of 8 southern sea otters floating on kelp in open water by Lara Drizd/USFWS
Running away from my problems like...
Jk, but do you know how bighorn sheep can run down hills so effortlessly? Their hooves have a hard outer rim that digs into the terrain and a spongy inner pad that provides traction.
Video description: Two bighorn sheep running down a mountainside covered in green grass and rocks at the National Elk Refuge in Wyoming.
Video by Hannah Bradburn/USFWS
Share the shore with western snowy plovers - the safe way! ♥️
Leave space for wildlife and enjoy the birds from afar.
Follow directions on signs, follow beach-specific dog leash rules and avoid flying kites or other hovering objects over plover habitat.
#LeaveNoTrace - please pick up trash and food and place it in covered trash bins.
If you’re on a beach that allows vehicles, drive ‘low and slow’, staying on the hard-packed sand below the high tide line where plovers forage. Please avoid driving over old vehicle or foot tracks as plovers like to rest or “loaf” in these and are extremely hard to see.
Thank you in advance! Love, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Video of western snowy plover chicks by Joanna Gilkeson/USFWS
Video description: Three western snowy plover chicks resting, walking around and preening on a beach. #labordayweekend #laborday
What do you think caught this coyote's eye?
Coyotes are opportunistic feeders and will eat whatever is in reach. This can include insects, small mammals, frogs, deer, and even fruit and plants.
Video: Wildlife camera video of a a coyote curiously looking towards water at the National Elk Refuge in Wyoming by USFWS
“Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.” ~ Margaret Mead
These words ring true in the world of sea turtle rescue. Every year along the Pacific coast there are sea turtles found washed up on beaches, in need of emergency care. Dedicated staff at the Oregon Coast Aquarium rescued a female loggerhead sea turtle in February of this year. Once stabilized, Turtles Fly Too volunteers Peter Lewis and his daughter Shalini flew her to SeaWorld San Diego for extensive rehabilitation, including treatment for pneumonia. Now healthy and ready to go back to the wild, she was released into the ocean off the coast of San Diego. A satellite tracker will help researchers keep tabs on her whereabouts.
Video of a loggerhead sea turtle being released into the ocean courtesy of SeaWorld San Diego
(Turn on the sound!) Now until late September is rut season for tule elk aka North America's smallest elk species! They're only found in California and a herd can be viewed on San Luis National Wildlife Refuge Complex's auto tour.
Tune in tonight from 6- 7 pm PST and check out our last virtual program: “Biodiversity of Tidal Marshes in the South San Francisco Bay: Helping Plants, Animals, and You”: http://ow.ly/9CRJ50G7jIV
Video of a bull tule elk bugling courtesy of Brad Lewis #californiabiodiversityday
Do you believe in fairies? What about San Diego fairy...shrimp? 🧚🦐
These endangered 8-16 millimeter shrimp are only found in vernal pools dispersed throughout coastal Southern California and Baja California.
Join us from 6-7pm PST for a presentation on “The Secret World of the Last Vernal Pool Grassland in the South San Francisco Bay” to learn more about these amazing habitats: http://ow.ly/9CRJ50G7jIV
Can you spot the carnivorous water beetle larvae capturing a San Diego fairy shrimp in this video? Also featured- a spadefoot toad tadpole, seed shrimp and other aquatic invertebrates. It's a party.
Video taken at a vernal pool on Otay Mesa in San Diego by David Zoutendyk/USFWS #Californiabiodiversityday
You're more likely to see wildlife early in the day or around sunset, but there is always something to see for those who are willing to look closely. This Purple gallinule was seen mid-day hunting in the wetland at Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge.
Check out those enormous feet!
Video: Purple gallinule walking on lily pads by John Magera/USFWS
Devils Hole Flood
Last month, monsoonal rains triggered a flash flood at Devils Hole, home to the rare Devils Hole pupfish and part of Death Valley National Park located within Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Nevada. Two days later, Devils Hole was hit by a mini tsunami (called a seiche) caused by an earthquake thousands of miles away in Alaska.
While events like these are common, our scientists, including those at U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and National Park Service continue to learn more about how these fascinating disturbances play an important role within the system.
Video by Peter Pearsall/USGS
For audio described version: http://ow.ly/mI8B50G2Chz
Stop Motion Coot Swimming
You're the cootest in the world! 😍
Send this to someone who needs this message today.
American coots can be found year-round throughout the Pacific and southwestern United States. Like grebes, they also build floating nests!
Video by USFWS at Pahranagat and Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuges in Nevada.
Video Description: Stop motion video of an American coot swimming in a wetland.
Did you know that yellow jackets will harvest meat in late summer?
Within about 24 hours, these wasps will completely clean this mouse carcass. These workers will bring chewed up meat and fruit back to the nest to feed the larvae. During this time, the colony rapidly expands and may reach up to 5,000 workers and 15,000 cells!
Video: Yellow jacket wasps harvesting meat from a mouse carcass by Courtney Celley/USFWS.
Easily clearing a beaver dam hurdle in Kenai National #WildlifeRefuge, this lynx demonstrates the power of hind leg muscle. Long back legs are specifically adapted for predatory ambush leaps in deep snow, and the crouch position allows the lynx to maximize stretched muscles like a rubber band. Lynx can jump over 20 feet from a crouch (the average non-Olympian human can jump about 3 feet horizontally).
📷 USFWS/Colin Canterbury
Video description: trail camera clip of a lynx pausing by a beaver dam, crouching, and then jumping over water and off screen past the camera. There is no sound.
Bobcat Takes a Walk
Bobcat, you better WORK! 🤩💃
Bobcats are generally solitary except during breeding season. This bobcat was spotted at the Desert National Wildlife Refuge in Nevada. Check out those paws!
Have you ever come across a wild bobcat?
Video by J. Contois / USFWS
Video description: A small bobcat walks through some grass then climbs onto a short, concrete retaining wall.
Coleman steelhead raceway
The continued hot weather makes the raceways at Coleman National Fish Hatchery look inviting for a quick swim. These steelhead trout probably wouldn't appreciate the intrusion in their raceway though.
Each of the 14 raceways of steelhead contain about 45,000 fish. These fish will remain at the hatchery until just after the first of the year, when they will be released into the Sacramento River in California. The hatchery has been in operation at its current location since 1942 and has raised fish through previous droughts.
Video description: Juvenile fish swimming underwater by USFWS
Moose calf makes an entrance on a trail camera
Watch until the end for a surprise!
This moose mom was wading in the water enjoying a relaxing meal with a view, but her calf wanted to be the star of the show on this trail cam.
Moose eat a variety of plants during the summer, but willow is one of their favorite foods.
Video description: A trail camera video of an adult moose in the distance wading in water while eating aquatic vegetation with mountains in the background. After a few seconds, a moose calf runs and stops in front of the camera.
Video: Moose and her calf at the National Elk Refuge in Wyoming by Kari Cieszkiewicz/USFWS
Mourning dove release
Mourning dove Mondays! ✨🕊️
Mourning doves are one of the most recognizable migratory birds and a very common sight at San Luis National Wildlife Refuge Complex in California. A national banding program began in 2003 to monitor changes in mourning dove populations throughout the country and doves are banded each summer at this refuge.
In this video, a mourning dove is being released after it was banded and identified by age, sex and molting stage. Video by USFWS
Time for #takeoffthursday! Condor #642 takes off after getting her biannual check-up at Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge in California. She passed her physical health check and was even able to receive a new GPS unit! This will help us track her as she takes care of her little chick.
Video by Shelly O'Brien/USFWS
Check out the The Condor Cave for more condor updates!
Video description: Setting is a chaparral hillside with a blue sky and distant mountains in the background. A USFWS biologist in a brown USFWS uniform holds an adult condor against her chest. She slowly kneels down and places the condor on the ground, releasing her hold. The condor takes a moment, shakes her feathers and then takes off, flying away from the camera.
Hatching Paddlefish Eggs at Gavins Point National Fish Hatchery
Have you ever wanted a closer look at some of the fish species we raise? Here's your chance!
These paddlefish eggs hatched at Gavins Point National Fish Hatchery in South Dakota where a variety of fish are raised. Every spring, the hatchery captures wild, adult paddlefish to spawn more at the hatchery and then safely returns them back to their native habitat. This process occurs to help increase wild paddlefish populations that are battling habitat changes and overfishing. Everyone needs a little help sometimes!
Video description: Close up of paddlefish eggs hatching transitioning to newly hatched paddlefish swimming.
Video by Sam Stukel at Gavins Point National Fish Hatchery in South Dakota/USFWS
Banding endangered piping plover chicks
Six piping plovers chicks were recently banded and released at Cat Island in Lower Green Bay, Wisconsin. Bands help us learn about species movements, lifespans and more! In August, these chicks and their parents will begin migrating south toward the Gulf Coast.
Video: Banded piping plover chicks are released by staff and partners, joining their parents on the beach. Video by Betsy Galbraith/USFWS.