Mother and older calf, almost her size

by Nancy Avalon
(Alma, Colorado)

Young calf following mother

Young calf following mother

We have two pair of mother/daughter moose. They have been frequenting our cabin up above Alma, CO. We live at 11,200 ft. elevation, but only for 5 months in the summer, since you can imagine the extreme weather conditions at this location. There are beaver dams directly by us, where the moose eat the opulent willows. We set out a mineral salt lick, which they visit, and then proceed to eat the yellow flowers and leaves of the Pontilla bushes that grow wild here. Since one of the calves is so big, we figure that it's a yearling+, and that the cow didn't give birth to another calf this spring. There is also a lone female, very large, and a different pair where the calf is small, probably a few months old. They all look so healthy, and I hope the winter won't be too harsh on them.

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More moose info from Alma, CO
by: Nancy Avalon

Since the first posting, the Moose Cow with the small calf have visited about 5 more time, before the smoke from the California and Colorado fires drove them (I assume) to lower ground. We also had two days of heavy snow (9/8-9/9)which accumulated 8"
(20cm)at our cabin elevation (11,200ft or 3414m). The small calf had put on 50 lb's (23kg) in 2 week's time.

Another pair have been spotted, this time a cow with a yearling bull in velvet. Two days ago they were in the beaver ponds and I noticed that the bull had lost one of his small antlers and the velvet was hanging down, limp, on the side of his face. Since it's now rutting season and he is slender and young, I'm wondering if he lost his antler in a skirmish with a larger bull, or maybe just broke it against a tree, trying to rub off the velvet? I suppose there are many scenarios.
Thanks for reading, and please comment on any of my entries - I want to know all I can about these grand beasts that I share space with.
Nancy Avalon
(see my moose painting at

Calf Predation
by: Mark ~ The Mooseman

Nancy, thank you for sharing your photos. Indeed, you spend some time at high elevations. That must be quite the experience!
The cow that has the older calf may have had a calf this spring and the calf could quite possibly fallen to a predator or other type of neonatal death, as moose calf mortality is in the neighborhood of 70% to 90% in the first 8 weeks of life.

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