This morning I’m sharing a photo of an American Bison that appeared to be whispering secrets to another bison that I photographed on Antelope Island State Park. I took the image on the east side of the island three years ago.

American Bison secrets in the snow – Nikon D500, f9, 1/800, ISO 640, Nikkor 500mm VR, natural light

I understand that the bison bull wasn’t actually whispering secrets to the cow, but in that moment captured through my lens, it certainly seemed that way. Because of that, I was drawn to this photo of the bull seemingly sharing a moment with the cow.

American Bison Do Communicate With Each Other

American bison communicate with each other using a combination of vocalizations, visual cues, and olfactory signals. They can vocalize through grunts, snorts, coughs, growls, and bellowing. Those sounds can convey information about dominance, mating success, reproductive status, and competitive ability.

Additionally, bison use visual communication, such as aggressive behaviors, to establish dominance and compete for mating opportunities. Olfactory signals, including pheromones and smells, are also essential for communication, particularly during reproduction. These various communication methods play a crucial role in the social dynamics and reproductive behavior of American bison.

Examples of bison communication:

  • Vocalizations: Grunts, snorts, coughs, growls, and bellowing.
  • Visual cues: Aggressive behaviors, dominance displays, and mating rituals.
  • Olfactory signals: Pheromones and smells, especially during reproduction.

Over the years since I moved to Utah, I have enjoyed seeing the American Bison herds on Antelope Island. I’ve looked forward to seeing the young bison, or “reds,” soon after they were born. I’ve observed bulls fighting for dominance during their rutting season. One of my favorite views of these bison is when the herds thunder down the hillsides of the mountains to get a drink from the freshwater springs.

I’m extremely glad that we didn’t lose the American Bison to extinction.

Life is good.

Mia

Click here to see more of my American Bison photos plus facts and information about this species.


Autor Mia McPherson

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