On March 25, KTWH’s Saturday Morning Mix aired a special hour devoted to encounters with bears and bear dens. Hosts Fran Kaliher and Peg Zahorik talked about a den they recently visited in northern Wisconsin where they recorded the sounds of the infant cubs and their mother from outside the den, without ever seeing the bears of course. These are some of the sounds recorded on two different occasions, January 28 and February 12 of this year.
The first one records the cubs “squalling” = trying to get comfortable, squirming around, sounding a bit like ducks squawking!
This one includes some squalling, then some “chumming” = nursing sounds, not the suckling itself but a sound they make while swallowing the milk; periodic short breaks for a gasp of air, every 3-5 seconds. Sounds like a motor running, or a car trying to start.
Two different cubs chumming, two different “pitches” or frequencies
Cubs squalling with occasional deep breaths/snores from the mother: listen for these at 5 seconds, 36 seconds and 1 minute. Also a grunt or belch from the mother at about 44 seconds.
February 12 now, much chumming, noisier than the earlier visit, mother’s breathing at 10 seconds
Starts out with a lull in the action, relatively quiet, panting of cubs, slowly ramp up into chumming interrupted with gasps of breath, mother’s breathing at 8 seconds, 24 seconds and more
Check out the photo gallery of photos from the biologists’ visit to this den in March at http://ktwh.org/gallery/from-the-biologists-visit-to-the-bear-den/ The cubs are really cute!
Two Harbors Community Radio captures a sight to behold: Santa on a motorcycle, looking for a new home. Hear the sellers give their pitch – maybe Santa is looking for you! [Update: THCR has learned that Santa has already found a new home, so please don’t call the phone number mentioned]
At Heritage Days 2014, Age-to-age intern Kiersten Haaversen interviewed Two Harbors native and THCR supporter Alice Sande at our tent. With intermittent choruses of cheers and groans coming from the annual lutefisk toss event in the background, Alice captures the spirit of Heritage Days.
Sounds of the Season – normally by the end of April we might be hearing more bird songs and other wildlife calls. This year our soundscape consists of running water and wind. Snowmelt – it will take some time to relieve ourselves of the winter’s extra-generous bequest of snow cover.
This file begins with about a minute each of water babbling briskly in an ephemeral stream (one which only flows in the spring with runoff or after major downpours) and the same stream heard from under 16” of persistent snowcover; then a slushy approach down steps to the foot of the lower Gooseberry Falls – the roar of which eventually overwhelms the observers, followed by the roar of the upper Gooseberry Falls (can you hear a difference?); and finally the light whooshing sound of the wind in a lone mature white pine holding forth above the relentless gusts in a mixed forest of younger birch and aspen, still bare of any foliage of course. All recordings made April 26 and 27, 2014 in Lake County, Minnesota.