Rss

Best of the Tetons

featured

Newborn Moose!

Baby Moose

Newborns are exciting harbingers of the Spring and Summer seasons.  I’ve seen a few baby Canada Geese, a few baby Bison, and I’ve heard of several Fox dens with Kits making their first appearances. Soon, we might be seeing baby Owls, Eagles, Deer, and Elk.

Click HERE to watch my wife’s video on Facebook:

Today, my wife called me to let me know of a Moose giving birth to a single calf. When she called, the calf was still slimy and the cow was in the process of cleaning it. By the time I arrived, the Mother Moose had cleaned the beautiful little calf. The proud Mother looked exhausted. The calf was trying to stand up but would fall over when she licked it. The photo above was the calf’s first attempts to nurse.

Baby Moose

This cow chose a spot between the main house and the guest house in a private sub-division near Teton Village. Call it a symbiotic relationship! The owners gets a few of their willow trees trimmed for free and the Moose gets some protection against wolves, bears, and coyotes. The cow has been a regular visitor to the residence for several years and is comfortable with humans milling around. My presence caused her no apparent stress.

The Window

We were able to open on of the windows of the main house, giving me access to the pair at eight to ten feet! The cow acknowledged the window opening, but was never alarmed.

Baby Moose

The calf could best be described as “wobbly”. It didn’t stay up very long at any one time, and would often fall or crash on its own accord.

Baby Moose

The calf spent a lot of time sleeping and the cow spent a lot of time licking its fur.

Baby Moose

The window gave me unprecedented access to the event! Besides being illegal to be this close in the Park, it would also be very dangerous.

Baby Moose

I was also able to shoot from the yard at a distance of about 20 yards. I was prepared to move back to the house if she looked agitated, but she never did.

Baby Moose

I’ve read that baby Pronghorns are ready to run soon after birth. My experience today tells me it takes baby moose much longer.

Baby Moose

The calf would be up for a few minutes at a time, then back down.

Baby Moose

The calf was never more than a few feet from the cow. Amazing moments!

Baby Moose

I have been using a D500 for the past couple of weeks while my Nikon D5 and Tamron lens are being fine tuned. For these shots, I used either a Nikon 70-200mm or 24-70mm lens on the 1.5 crop factor body. I was shooting in Manual Mode with Auto ISO.

Baby Moose

She had her head up and her ears perked, but the cow dozed like this quite a few times.

Baby Moose

Each time the baby got up, it seemed to get a little stronger and more stable—but it was far from ready to run.

Baby Moose

It appears that most Mother Moose keep them in their secluded birthing spots for several days. Most of the calves I’ve seen over the years have been mobile and active. Check out this page: Baby Moose of the Tetons

Baby Moose

This is one of the last photos I took today. Off and on during the day, the cow stood up and then bedded down in another nearby spot—possibly for some fresh grass to eat. I was standing in the back yard on this capture. It appeared the cow was pushing the calf to the deck and in my direction. There was a pond behind me so I thought she might be ready to head to water. Just as before, she bedded down in a new patch of green grass.

Day 2

1 Day Old Moose

Darla and I did a quick trip back to the Moose family. The little one was much more mobile and was able to work its way through thickets of willows.

Nursing Calf

The calf is now able to nurse while standing.

Young Calf

Clumsy and cute!

Young Calf

The challenge on this shoot is to isolate the subjects from the buildings, deck, roads, and posts.

High-steppin' Calf

With the Mother watching, the little one is working on its high stepping moves.

Resting Cow and Calf

After feeding for a while, both dropped to the ground in deep, green grass. I’d love to be there when the pair head to the nearby pond for a drink.

Day 3

Baby Moose Day 3

The little one is spending more time on its feet and getting braver. I went by in the morning and the pair were tucked deep into the trees. By afternoon, there was some activity.

Baby Moose Day 3

Baby Moose Day 3: The Mother was about 12 feet away, but keeping an eye on the baby and me.

Nursing Moose

You might call this a “rear entry” option for nursing. I’m not a biologist, but this shot might indicate this is a female baby moose.

Romper Room

Romper Room: At one point, the baby did circles around the Mother. She finally stood up and made some sort of signal that dropped the little moose in its tracks. She then bedded down again and I headed on home.

Day 4

I found the Moose, but they were bedded down in a tough spot. I didn’t even try to take photos of them.

Day 5

Mother Moose and Calf

The lawn workers had to mow and trim the yard during the morning and part of the afternoon. This activity spooked the Mother Moose and Calf to a stand of willows across the street. They were there all day. I stopped in a second time later in the afternoon. She led the little Calf back to the birthing yard.

Five Day Old Calf

The five day old Calf is now quite mobile.

Five Day Old Calf

She’s beautiful!

Five Day Old Calf

She?

Mother Moose and Calf

I had hoped to be there when the Cow went to the pond for a drink of water. I got lucky!

Five Day Old Calf

I came home with around 2500 images from the afternoon. Shots from today were taken with a Nikon D5 and a Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Splashing Calf

I tend to shoot a lot when they are near the water. You may only have a minute or two. Today, the two drank from the water’s edge and then the mother started feeding on nearby willows. That left the youngster to romp around and play along the edge of the pond.

Five Day Old Calf

The family named the baby moose “Lucky P”.


Please, if you like this post, SHARE it using one of the convenient Social Media icons on this page.

Like This Post? Share It

Comments (16)

  1. Fran Dzik

    What a beautiful experience for you to capture on film. I enjoy viewing your posts each day and the descriptions you add to each photograph are wonderful. Thank you for sharing your art with us.

  2. Marcy Starnes

    wow what great back yard photography

  3. Linda Swope

    Excited for you! What a treat!!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. Amazing shots Mike. What an emotional shoot for you. Seeing new borns it something special whether they are cows, moose, fox … Thanks for sharing these wonderful photos.

  5. Maurice Horn

    Great photos of the baby moose. I’m pretty sure they have been born in my yard.

  6. Maurice Horn

    I’d be very careful around them at birthing time. Mom can be extremely over protective

  7. Wow…How fortunate that you were able to capture these wonderful moments Mike…Have a great day..

  8. Marion Dickinson

    Fantastic set of photos, what a wonderful way to start my day this morning.

  9. Very Cool! Thanks for sharing Mike. I’ll be there in a couple of days and hope I’m a little lucky too.

  10. How may I purchase the photo under clumsy and cute? He’s alone next to the Aspen trunk.
    8-10 please

  11. Hi Mary, I’d need to reprocess the image at high resolution, then upload it to Photoshelter. 8×10 or 8×12 prints are normally $40 on the site. LMK if you are still interested. Thanks! Mike Jackson

  12. Kathleen Little

    These are fabulous!

  13. Richard Hanks

    🙂

  14. Incredible shots!! Thanks so much for sharing them with those of us who may never get the opportunity to witness seeing newborn moose calves. What a special shoot.

  15. Dorothy Knoell

    What an incredible experience, and what great photos. Thanks so much for sharing. It’s almost like being there. This is just amazing!

  16. Carol Nichols

    Thanks so much for letting us see this amazing event through your lens Mike!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *