Friday, 13 November 2015

Momma moose showdown

Moose are pretty much solitary animals,
they do not flock, herd or band together.
The momma moose have their babies at their sides and breeding is a fleeting thing.
Mostly moose spend their time alone.

Last summer we seeded a field with some oats, the oats came up a bit patchy so we decided that to cut it would cost more in fuel than it would deliver in feed value.
So, we just let the pasture be and hoe that what we under seeded will come up next spring.
Well, the moose have found this patch of oats and are congregating here for a feed before the hard months of winter set in.

It is mostly momma moose that are here grazing with their 2015 babies.
I have seen up to 10 moose here on this field.
Last week I even watched a showdown between two moose, who still diligently guard their personal space.

The photo's are not great but does give an idea of what a momma moose showdown looks like.

So, let us meet some of the players:

Nervous young moose, he left when I stopped to look.

Moose who does not get involved.
A background player.

Young sleek momma moose who is a key player in the showdown.

Older momma moose, she is in a bad mood.

This baby  is the instigator of the trouble.

All quiet and calm.
 Each moose has their own bubble.

Happily nibbling away at the oats.

The lay of the land.

So, it all starts when young momma and baby decide to move into the bubble of older momma moose.
She does not appreciate this invasion of her space.
She tells the younger pair this.
When a moose is mad, they pin their ears back.
Like this:

Young mom and babe, continue in her direction, despite the clear warning, elongated neck and ears pulled back.

Go away

Babies, being babies, are curious, so while younger mom bends off somewhat, baby decides to go over to grumpy moose.

She gets grumpier.

and, still baby keeps going towards her, putting her  mom now into a difficult situation,  as she needs to stay with and look after her baby, who is not heeding the older moose's warning.

So, she starts threatening back,
and is giving the traditional, threat by pulling her ears back.

Baby hesitates..

Grumpy momma, turns her head away to try and diffuse the situation,
young momma perks up somewhat.

and, naughty baby, moves forward again.
The posturing starts up again.

A stare down takes place, baby is having second thoughts.

She tries to get out from between the two moose.

The dirty looks, are like daggers to each other.

The showdown escalates.

The battle of the wills.
Baby is out of the way and does not seem overly concerned that she just started a mini moose war.

Front leg raised, head elevated, hackles raised,
who is more dominant?

Both moms glance away, this may cool things down.

Nope, no one backs down.

Younger mom, cools down a touch.

Both really want to avoid this showdown.

Younger mom backs down and carefully ambles away.
The situation is under control.

Baby  tries to take a step closer, grumpy decides enough is enough and puts a small charge on baby,
who just about trips over herself to get out of the way.

Grumpy mom feels more comfortable now that she has her space again.

Young mom and bay, are a little wiser, and head back into the bush.

Hope your Friday the 13th, ends as well as this showdown did!

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