BearHead Photography has many images to showcase his expansive portfolio on mammals of North America and around the globe, and here are his wild pictures of river otters, weasels, asian elephants, pine marten, monkey, lizard, badger, and porcupines.
Finding an ermine in the winter is not an easy task. Finding a small white animal in a land of snow is like looking for a needle in a hay stack. Fortunately, this little guy came out of his hole right when we were going by and my friend spotted him. When he first saw us it just stood there to try and figure out what we were.
Going for It
Ermine are little weasels that turn white in the winter. They are very quick and hard to keep up with. This ermine was really moving around a lot, and really went for it with this jump over the snow drifts.
A Curious Look
An ermine is definitely not a large animal. When it is on all fours, it is only a couple inches tall. It was curious about us humans trying to photograph it, so it came closer and stood up to investigate us a little.
This part of the creek was around four feet wide. Too far for an ermine to easily jump across. After looking good for the first part of the jump, it started to fall. It spread out its legs to try and glide the rest of the way across the creek.
It's amazing how few porcupines I see for how much of the year I spend in the woods. While on a trail this porcupine came out and was not going to move because of me. It was nice to finally see a clear view of a porcupine.
Pine marten are a very hard animal to photograph. I have seen many in my life, but most sightings only last a couple seconds and then they disappear. After running a while, this marten climbed a tree and looked back at me in the forest. I was so excited that it climbed a tree and gave me a second to capture a photo!
Badgers in the snow stick out pretty bad, because they are a dark animal. It's not often that they are found in the winter. This one was walking around carefully through the bushes, attempting to blend in.
Finding a snow shoe hare in the snow is extremely difficult. I would see them in the dark with my headlights, but never in the day time. They have the perfect camouflage and don’t move if they don’t have to. My wife somehow spotted this hare coming down from a hike, and I was so thrilled to finally get to photograph one!
Picking Up Speed
Elephants can hide amazingly well in the forest. For as big as they are, they can disappear and reappear very quickly. This elephant had a young baby, and when it saw something in the dry riverbed it came charging out of the woods to scare the other animal off.
Elephants come in all different sizes. They can become so large it is hard to imagine an animal being that big, to being incredibly small when they are born. As these three elephants walked in stride, it showed how each was in a different stage of growth.
Leaning Against Mother
While in the tall jungle plants, I didn't even know there was a baby elephant. Mom came rushing out of the jungle and onto the dry river bed. Soon after, her little one followed and leaned against her for comfort.
While in India I really wanted to see a wild cobra. This black cobra ventured into the resort I was staying at and that excited me. The moment I saw it I had massive respect for it, and it had an aura surrounding it that was like nothing I had ever experienced before.
Monkeys are very playful animals and bounce around from place to place. There were a couple of rocks that they particularly liked to jump between in this area. In the late evening, it looked as if this monkey was floating as he jumped between the rocks.
Sea turtles have been known to hold their breath for 5 hours. They spend almost their entire lives exclusively in the water. On land they are very slow animals and have no real reason to go onto land, unless you're a female and going to lay eggs.
The marine iguana of the Galapagos is unique to other iguanas in that it can live and forage in the sea. It has no problem diving down up to 30 feet and eating algae off the rocks while holding on with its claws. They are much smaller than the land iguanas in the Galapagos.
Land iguanas do not move around much in the morning. They have to wait on the sun to warm their body before they can become active. They even hardly move off a trail when people walk by. They are very yellowish and larger than the marine iguanas.
During the summer, the collared pika has to gather and store food for the winter. They don't hibernate, but stay underneath the snow all winter and eat their supply of grasses and greenery. It takes hundreds of trips like these to survive all winter.
During the winter it is rare to see a pika. During the summer and fall they collect leaves, grass, and other greenery to survive under the rocks and snow all winter. It was surprising to see this pika in the heart of the winter in Yellowstone.
The Little Things
All over Denali are ground squirrels. Bears will even chase these animals to have a snack. As night was beginning to come, this squirrel was checking the area to make sure no predators were around.
A Sneaky Look
Long-tailed weasels never stay in one place very long. They are very fast, and also very aggressive. This weasel had gone down this ground squirrel burrow and didn't find any, so it was looking around up top for others.
The sally lightfoot crabs are fun to watch move around the rocks. They are not very scared of anything and will actually climb over iguanas and eat things from their backs. They are everywhere in the Galapagos and very colorful.
During the heat of the day the monitor lizards will take it easy. Even in the shade of the jungles it can be very hot. This lizard was doing a little sunbathing before heading out in the evening.
Porcupines are very interesting animal. They are not large, cannot move fast, and spend lots of their time in trees. They go into the trees to eat, and for protection. This porcupine was not happy I had found it, so I moved on quickly after taking this photo.