We haven’t seen the badgers the last two nights. Either they were foraging farther away from their den, not coming out as early, or they got tired of the attention and moved their den. Their den is roughly 50 feet from the main trail in the bosque that gets a lot of foot, dog, bike and horse traffic. For the couple of times we have seen the badgers they were very cooperative. If you missed the video of the badgers I posted last week, you can watch it at https://wp.me/p1yQyy-4iU.
Leslie, one of our bosque buddies, walked towards me on the ditch bank holding her camera in such a way I knew she got something special. “I got a first for the bosque!” she called out. “A badger” as she showed me a photo of a badger looking over a pile of sand on her camera’s screen. I said “Wow! I didn’t know we had badgers in the bosque.” On Friday afternoon I walked through the bosque and found the badger’s burrow, but the sun was still fairly high, and I didn’t see any badgers.
Last night I went out at sunset, and found a mama badger and two large badger cubs playing and foraging around the entrance to their den. I started shooting video with a 320mm lens. I was about 50 to 75 feet from the badgers. One cub at the entrance of the den saw me and watched me while its sibling romped and tugged at it. I moved to a better position, because the camera kept trying to focus on the foliage in the foreground. While one cub watched me, its sibling hadn’t noticed I was there, and started foraging on the edge of the sandhill. Likewise, mama badger was oblivious while I filmed her and her cubs. The cub playing on the edge of the mound suddenly noticed me, stopped, stared at me for an instance, and then ran to the den and dived in the hole. The mama ran up the the entrance of the den at the cub’s sudden activity, and acting slightly confused, she put her head down toward the hole. All of a sudden she shifted her position and looked at me as if the cubs said “Mama! There’s a paparazzo filming us.” She looked at me for a second, and then dove in the hole herself.
I started calling them and I believe the cub that was looking at me from the beginning, popped its head up and stared at me. I talked to it, told it I was okay. It ducked back into the hole, only to pop it’s head up again a few seconds later. It seemed fascinated by the paparazzo in black talking to it. It started getting dark, so I said my goodbyes and the cub stared at me halfway in the entrance to the den as I walked away.
I wrote and recorded the music accompanying the video this afternoon. The Badgers seemed worthy of their own song.
I wasn’t expecting Mr. pT. (Great Blue Heron Pterodactyl) at the beginning of our walk. I had my ISO set at 400, which is a little slow against dark trees at sunset. It’s one thing not to expect the Mr. pT., which I should know better, since I see him almost every night. But I really wasn’t expecting to see Ms pT., so imagine my surprise and excitement when Mr. pT. swooped down and flushed Ms pT. out of the clearwater ditch to do a pterodactyl tango on their way over the bosque to the rio Grande. Part of the challenge is to see if you can find Mr. pT. against the tangle of bare cottonwood branches in the first six photos; and then see if you can find Mr. pT. and Ms pT. in the 7th photo and the last photo.