Is it too early to start thinking about spring? Not really. This is the time of year the ravens begin their courtship “dances” on the wind where they swoop, dive and soar together as a pair. It’s one of the first signs of spring.
It’s also not out of the question to start seeing bears emerging from their dens in February. In 2015, the first grizzly bear was seen in Yellowstone on February 9 and the first black bear on Feb 11. In 2014, the first grizzly bear was seen on February 27.
We’re having a heavy and rather harsh winter this year in Cody that will provide the bears with food when they do emerge as there are likely to be quite a few animals that won’t survive. One animal’s hardship becomes another animal’s bounty.
Wolves have been seen as well in both Sunlight Basin and along the North Fork of the Shoshone River. There are also a few bull bison and moose that winter there as well. We’ve even had some moose in town this year. Bighorn sheep call the North Fork their winter home as well and can often be seen near or even on the road.
Mountain Bluebirds will also be arriving soon, likely around the first of March with the first Sandhill Cranes right behind them.
As the chinook winds eat away at the snow, the animals will gather close to the road making our North Fork Tour a wildlife tour you won’t soon forget. In addition to the wildlife, we’ll share some of the history of this area outside the east entrance to Yellowstone.
While the interior of Yellowstone might be closed in March and the first part of April (the East Gate is scheduled to open on May 5 this year), it’s one of the best times to see wildlife in the Cody area.
If you’re thinking of vacationing a bit later in the spring, the heavy snowpack promises to bring some amazing wildflowers in May and June. The snow will also keep the wildlife down closer to the roads longer.
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