BearHead Photography New Photos
BearHead Photography has many images to showcase his expansive portfolio on mammals of North America, and these are his newest images.
Winter in Yellowstone is not the easiest of places to survive. The winter is often bad for months, and rarely eases up during those months. Animals have to be tough and strong to survive the winter. Not only is it cold, but it is often windy in Yellowstone. This was a particularly windy day, and with all the snow blowing around and the landscape turning completely white, these bison tried to move as little as possible to conserve their energy. Edition of 40.
Bison are one of the most well adapted animals to survive a harsh winter. They don't even get cold until the temperature drops below -40 degrees! In a heavy snow year, this bison was having to dig deep to find any grass or plants under the snow. The wind was howling and blowing for a very long time, and covered this bison in snow as he was trying to eat and survive.
I love finding red fox in the winter with their big fluffy orange coats. I watched this fox move across the landscape hunting and looking for food. The landscape was bright and dark off and on depending on if the sun was behind the clouds or not. I didn't think the fox would go to the ridge and stop before cresting, but he did and the beautiful contrasts of light snow and dark clouds made for a beautiful winter scene. Edition of 40.
If I was a river otter, winter would be my favorite season. They get to run and slide on the snow and ice. They will create a tunnel in the snow for them to slide down, like human kids do in the winter. These three otters all slide down this slide, and as the last came down it rolled over on its back to slide into its sibling. Edition of 40.
River otters are truly an animal that likes to have fun. When I see them, they always seem to be smiling and enjoying themselves. This otter would swim under the ice to a small opening a couple hundred yards down stream, and then run and slide on his belly back to his family. A video of this otter sliding went viral. Edition of 40.
Seeing bald eagles flying never gets old. This eagle had been watching river otters eat a fish, and was hoping to eat some of the remains after they were done. Once he realized there would be nothing left, he took off and was eye level with me in the valley. Edition of 40.
Finding a bobcat is never an easy task. They are very sly creatures, and their best hunting trait is being stealthy. This stealth is why it is so difficult to find them. As this bobcat was crossing down trees, a noise caught its attention and it looked into the trees. It was amazing to me how well it blended in to his surroundings, and would have been so hard to see if I hadn't already known where it was. Edition of 40.
It's a good thing I watched this bobcat go to this spot, because otherwise I would have never found it. It's camouflage was perfect, and it blended in so well with the tree limbs. The bobcat sat and waited on the edge of the river a very long time, waiting on a duck to swim by for it to pounce on. Edition of 40.
I never tire of finding a monster elk. This elk had huge mass in his antlers, and also had many points. Seeing him walk around, it was obvious he was the king and he knew it. He was a beautiful animal, and it's great to know animals like this still exist in the wild! Edition of 40.
The rut is a serious time if you are a male elk. For a short period of time, they have a chance to mate. Bull elk can fight for a couple months to determine who has the right to mate. Fall was mostly gone, but these two large bulls were still fighting to see who was more powerful and dominant than the other one. Edition of 40.
Back and Forth
Seeing two animals go head-to-head is always exciting. When animals fight, it is normally very serious and they aren't just playing around. And when two large animals get together, it's even more exciting to see just how powerful they are. The intensity of the fights can even lead to death sometimes. Edition of 40.
A winter landscape can create a much different look to animals than in other seasons. There isn't as much color, but that allows the animals natural color to stick out more. When it began to snow, the river and dark background allowed this large sheep to stick out and be the main focus of the photo. Edition of 40.
There are bighorn sheep in numerous places all across the west. However, massive sheep like this guy are few and far between. So when I found this guy a few years ago, I was hoping to one day get him in the snow. It took me a while to find him, once the snow came, but seeing him in the snow and him being even larger than the year before was worth the wait. Edition of 40.
Hiking in nature is always a fun time. Just listening to nature's noises, and the stillness and peacefulness of the woods is why people get out. I love hiking because I just never know what is around the next corner. Finding a bald eagle, perched nearby, through a tiny hole in the trees, will make any hike a memorable hike! Edition of 40.
There are certain times of the day when a shot turns more dramatic. If I had taken this shot in the daylight, it still would have been a neat shot with an eagle taking off from a cliff. However, in the last light of the day, a more dramatic scene unfolds because the eagle's outline is highlighted by the light behind it and it becomes silhouetted as it takes off. Edition of 40.
On my first morning of a workshop with clients in Yellowstone, we headed into the park early in the morning on a snow coach. It was dark, but it's a good time to find wildlife. We started to see some light, and then the clouds illuminated all of a sudden. The vibrant colors only lasted a couple of minutes, but with the light reflecting off the river, it was a memorable start to the trip. Edition of 40.
The endless snow valleys in Yellowstone can create a dramatic scene in the winter. This is not a black and white photograph, it's just nature's colors. With the snow perfect, and the shadows casting off the hill tops, it almost looks like a scene from a different planet. The lonely tree gives the photo life and creates a different feel for the image. Nature has the best imagination! Edition of 40.
A Winter Walk
Moose are well adapted for the snow because of their long legs. It is very rare to see snow coming all the way up to a moose's belly, because they have such long legs. On this early morning, it was really snowing and the moose was headed from the meadow to the forest to get out of the snow. Edition of 40.
While in Denali, I love being in the backcountry exploring on my own. It is so fun to be off the beaten path and find animals by myself. Once I found these moose, I did my best to track them across the endless tundra. When they walked the ridge above this pond, I knew all the tracking I had done had more than been worth, and I could reflect back on how great the state of Alaska is! Edition of 40.
The moose in Alaska are the biggest moose on the planet. They are huge animals and when close to one you really feel small. When this moose stopped on the ridge above this pond with Denali behind him, I felt small in the scope of the scene I was in. Edition of 40.
It's not often you come across three bull moose hanging out together. I first only saw one moose, and it was only once I hiked up and over a hill did I see that there were three moose. After spending over three hours with them and only getting mediocre pictures, that all changed in a heartbeat. I couldn't believe my good fortune when they all left the pond and went up on the ridge and stood still for just a few moments. Being all along with these moose with this setting was a moment I will never forget. Edition of 40.
I love getting off the road and away from everyone and finding my own shot. There are many times I spend hiking through the tundra or woods and don't come up with anything. But those moments when you do find wildlife to yourself are the moments you never forget. When I found these three bull moose together I was ecstatic. I followed them for over three hours before this special moment occurred, and I was more than happy that I waited and followed to see what photographic opportunities they would present. Edition of 40.
After trekking miles with this moose, I still wasn't sure I was going to be able to get any pictures of him. He always stayed just far enough out of good photo range. Finally, he stood on a ridge and looked back and me ( and I wondered what was going through his head). It was a powerful moment in the backcountry on a beautiful evening. Edition of 40.
Before moose loose their velvet in the fall, they will hang out with other bulls. Even though these moose have greatly differing antler sizes, the larger moose wouldn't tolerate the younger moose being around if he no longer had velvet on his antlers. They would play a little and then get a drink in this beautiful backcountry kettle pond. Edition of 40.
The Denali landscape is full of undulating land and many valleys. When looking from above, you normally can't see all those dips in the landscape, but from this vantage point I could. I also managed to find three bull moose moving across the valley, only soon to disappear into one of those valleys. The Denali landscape is large and feels as if it is never ending. Edition of 40.
The backcountry of Denali seems as if it is endless. There is so much terrain, and 99% of it is wild and untouched. Animals, like this moose, can roam for years and never see a human. After tracking this guy a long distance, I was thrilled when he decided to walk over the hill and come my direction. Edition of 40.
You never know what you will get when you go out in the field for wildlife photography. I had spent a few hours with this moose and gotten some shots I was proud of. But when he went up on the ridge and was silhouetted against Denali in the clouds, my day turned from good to great. Edition of 40.
Moose are often a solitary animal, but don't mind being with other moose before the rut. As I watched these moose move across the tundra, it almost felt like the back moose was just trying to stay close to the other bull moose. When the first moose went on the ridge, I was hoping the other moose would follow, and when they stood together it made for a great shot. Edition of 40.
If I were a moose, growing up in Denali would be paradise. There is tons of food, endless territory, and not many humans. The beauty of the landscape is unmatched, and moose can roam for miles a day and be happy in each place they go. This moose was ridge walking and taking in the beauty that he gets to call home. Edition of 40.
It is hard to believe a moose can regrow its antlers this large every year. They drop their antlers in the winter, and then regrow them this large by August. This moose had a neat design in his velvet that made it look like a coffee mocha. Edition of 40.
There are too many times to count when I had a great setting with wildlife, but no light. Having both come together perfectly on this morning was a dream. As I ran to the stream, hoping they would cross in the perfect morning light, I waited only briefly before they decided to cross. The morning light, reflection, and mountains made for a dramatic backcountry Alaskan scene. Edition of 40.
Animals tend to move more in the early morning and late afternoon. Finding animals right as the sun is rising is difficult though. There are only a few minutes when the light turns everything pink, and I'm rarely in position for those perfect few minutes. My day was made after only a few minutes into it when I was able to get this mother crossing a stream at first light. Edition of 40.
This was this bear families first time out on the tidal flats. It was neat watching the three cubs experience and check out their new world. They would only get so far from mother, though, before running back to her. Edition of 40.
Hold On Tight
It is very uncommon for grizzly bear cubs to be on their mothers back. These cubs had gotten scared a day earlier in water, and they didn't want to have that happen again. So as mother got up from feeding them, they hung on tight and rode on her back as they left the tidal flats and the incoming tide. Edition of 40.
A Streaming Look
Grizzly bear cubs do not like water. Anytime they are near a stream, they hope mother doesn't cross. Many streams have fast currents and it is hard for them to swim across. These little cubs let mother know they didn't want to cross, and mother listened and turned back. Edition of 40.
Young bears are playful and curious. When this grizzly bear saw this set of moose antlers, it had likely never seen antlers before by the way he played with them. It was very curious and didn't know what to make of the antlers. Watching it bite them and move them around was fun to watch. Edition of 40.
The bond between a mother and her cub is very strong. A cub wouldn't survive without the care of its mother for two years. This yearling and its mother has been play fighting, but then they just rubbed each other when they were done playing. Edition of 40.
Rise and Shine
Bears are just like humans when they wake up from a nap, groggy. This bear family had a good rest on the tidal flats, and were woken by the rising tide. They weren't ready to get up yet, but had to. The two cubs clung to their mother and wanted more rest, but mom knew better because of the rising tide. Edition of 40.
Being a bear mother can be a tough time. Constantly having to watch over her little cubs, and still get enough food to feed herself and them is very tiring. The cubs would sometimes play on this log, but it looked like a nice pillow to this mom on this occasion. I'm sure she wanted a peaceful sleep to herself, but her cubs came over and joined her far a nap on the log. Edition of 40.
I Mean Business
During the fishing season for salmon, Alaskan brown bears are very serious. They know this is the best time to fatten up to survive the long winter, and it is key to their survival to eat as many fish as possible. With another bear approaching this bears fishing hole, it stood to let them know not to mess with her. Edition of 40.
Bears are very territorial, and don't take kindly to another bear entering its personal space. Neither of these bears were big, but both wanted that fishing spot. They had more of a growling match than anything, but being in the river and spraying water made it more dramatic. Edition of 40.
Humpback whales are a huge whale that only show off their tail when they are going to dive. They can hold their breath for over 30 minutes and surface miles from where they dove from. This whale had come fairly close to us while following the fish it was dieting on, and then dove on a calm Alaskan morning. Edition of 40.
Humpbacks are a massive whale, and can reach up to 70 feet long. It isn't known exactly why humpbacks jump fully out of the water, but there are some good educated guesses. This whale was part of a fishing group of humpbacks that were not having much success. It likely was a little upset and decided to jump out of the water to release some frustration. Edition of 40.
Humpback whales flock to southeast Alaska during the summer to feed. The summer in Alaska is the only time they feed all year, and they can feed up to 23 hours a day. When the herring fish reaches the peak of the summer, humpback whales form groups to fish in and will bubble net feed. Less than 10% of all humpbacks know how to do this, and it only happens for two weeks or less in the summer. After circling the herring, the whales breach with their mouths open and inhale the herring. Edition of 40.
Humpback whales are usually a solitary animal. The only time they will be with other whales, is during mating season and when food is at its peak. These whales dove at the same time in hopes of rounding up little herring fish. Edition of 40.
Sea otters are very easy going animals most of the time. They lay on their back and rest, or eat clams and mussels they have brought up from the ocean floor. This young otter was stretching out from a nap, and it looked like it was about to clap its paws. Edition of 40.
Watching a group of humpbacks fish together is quite the site. They are normally a solitary animal, and fish by themselves. However, when the herring population reaches its peak, the whales come together for a feeding frenzy called bubble feeding. All of a sudden, anywhere from 5-12, humpbacks appear out of the water with their mouths open and inhale the herring. Edition of 40.
Humpback whales have many ways of expressing themselves. They will jump, fin slap, and tail slap at different times. When they tail slap, they don't jump out of the water, they just stick the lower half of their body out of the water and forcefully slap it back down against the water. Edition of 40.
Orcas are a beautiful whale, and can swim hundreds of miles a day. There are many pods that are transients, and roam whatever waters they choose. This pod of orcas was a resident pod in southeast Alaska, and were seen off and on. They don't normally swim right beside each other, but they did this one time with the dramatic Alaskan mountains behind them. Edition of 40.
All at Once
There is a very small time of the year when humpback whales feed together. Some years it can last less than 2 weeks for when the whales bubble net feed. They will circle around the herring and blow bubbles and create a wall of bubbles. The herring don't know they can swim through the bubbles and become trapped. The whales then come up through the middle with their mouths open, and have a meal of herring. Edition of 40.
Orcas do not jump out of the water very often. They are very skilled swimmers and work well in a team when hunting. Sometimes, though, one will just stick the upper half of its body out of the water while hunting to try and see where its prey has gone. Edition of 40.
Seeing a group of humpback whales together is such a neat sighting. Most of the year they swim alone, and don't want to be near other whales. But when the feeding is at the peak, they come together to be able to eat more at once. Watching 12 whales swim along the coast and see the vapor from their breaths is exciting. Edition of 40.
I don't think I've ever seen an unhappy otter. I've seen some playing and fighting each other, but it still looks like they have a smile on their face. This guy was having a relaxing evening and just enjoying his clams and slowly eating them while swimming backwards. Edition of 40.
The northern lights are a part of our world that will never get tiring. They come out in the northern latitudes, and are very unpredictable. From night to night they put on a different display, or decide not to show up at all. On a very clear night I was able to have no wind and capture the big dipper reflected in the lake while the northern lights played above the mountains. Edition of 40.
Going underneath a glacier into a cave that has formed underneath was very surreal. The colors and natural design of the ice cave is indescribable until you have been in one. An ice cave forms by a river that moves underneath the glacier. The natural color and design of the ice was like nothing I had ever seen before. Edition of 40.
The natural curves inside an ice cave are incredible! Each little step inside reveals more and more of the incredible beauty of the cave. The curves are so beautiful, it is hard to tell in many photos which way the curves are curving. Nature is the best at creating natural beauty. Edition of 40.
Glaciers in Alaska, and everywhere, are quickly receding. Mendenhall glacier, in southeast Alaska, is no exception to that, and by 2080 they think it could be gone. As it recedes, it drops ice bergs into the lake it has created as it retreats up the valley. Edition of 40.
Glaciers are an incredible creation of nature. It is hard to imagine tons and tons of ice moving down a mountain, but that is what happens. A glacier is basically a large frozen waterfall that slowly moves down the mountain and carves the stone away as it moves. The glacier ice is the bluest on cloudy days because of the light refraction with the clouds. Edition of 40.
During the winter months, the big horn rams will hang out together in a group. This lake dries up almost completely during the winter, when there isn't much run off to feed the lake. The rams were thirsty and went to the dry lake bed to drink from what little water remained of the lake. Edition of 40.
From early spring to fall, caribou grow their antlers and they are covered in a soft velvet. Once they have grown as much as they will, the velvet becomes itchy, and the caribou rub their antlers against trees to get the velvet off. Their are blood veins in the velvet that stain the antlers red for a couple of days before it fades off and the antlers turn brown. Edition of 40.
Caribou are an incredible in shape animal, and can travel miles every single day. This caribou had just shed his velvet off the antlers a couple of days prior, and was looking across the valleys wondering where he would go next. Edition of 40.
Into the Mist
Not long after I spotted this bull elk, his females headed for the river. It was a foggy morning, but when I got to the river, there was more fog there than in the meadow. It was such a neat, eerie feeling seeing the elk go in the river and disappear in the fog. In the fall when the temperature drops over night, a fog can occur, and it provided a dramatic scene for this large bull elk as he entered the water. Edition of 40.
Bull elk in the rut will do anything to protect their harem. This bull had to cross the river because a couple of his ladies did, and there was another bull waiting for them on the other side. As he was almost done crossing he let out a big bugle to let the other bull know who was boss. Edition of 40.
Pyramid Peak is one of the first mountains to receive light in the morning. I'm always hoping to find an elk near the river where the mountain is reflected in the morning. Finally, after days of waiting, I had my elk at first light and was able to capture both reflected in the river. Edition of 40.
Bull elk don't get to take a break during the rut. They are constantly on the move and trying to keep up with their herim. After his females continually ran away from him, he let out a deep strong bugle that let them know he was not happy. Edition of 40.
During the fall is when the elk rut begins to get into full swing, and the bulls become very aggressive. This bull was the largest of the area, and after mating all the females in his harem, he left them to check the rest of his territory for other females. Edition of 40.
High Valley Call
The elk rut is an exciting time to be in the mountains. Bull elk are fighting for the right to mate, and their bugles can be heard throughout the valleys. This large elk was on the move and looking for more females from the highest part of the meadow. Edition of 40.
Bull elk have very symmetrical antlers, and most are very similar in how they are built. But not all elk are alike. Some have more length, width, mass, or points. I really liked this guy because of his mass, and the sticker points he had off his main royal. Edition of 40.
There is no time to rest in the fall if you are a bull elk. You are tirelessly trying to protect your harem and fight off challengers. Just as the first light was hitting this large mountain, a bull elk gives off an echoing bugle on a cold morning. Edition of 40.
As the last light of the day hits this elk, it gives out a bellowing bugle to let the other bulls know he is not fading away. Edition of 40.
It had been very difficult to photograph this elk, as it had been in the shade behind the hill. He heard another bull elk bugle, so he ran to look at his competitor, and as he did the last light illuminated him against the dark forest. Edition of 40.