Writing about the recent births of Keegan, Kaya and Sunshine to Sparky, Halfway and Captain Hook got me thinking about the many other births we have documented in Area One. Given our coverage of this area (well over a thousand surveys in the past five years) it is safe to say that few if any births by the females whose range falls within Area One's boundaries have escaped our notice.
Following is a chart recording the arrival of only those calves that we feel confident we discovered shortly after their birth. Size is an obvious indictor in this matter with newborns tending to weigh in at about 60 pounds. In those first weeks of birth the calves are also less graceful than they will eventually become. Observable fetal fold marks are also a clear indicator of recent birth with estimates of their persistence ranging from 2 weeks to 2 months. Finally, in the case of many of the mothers, we have recorded sightings of them without a calf shortly before they appeared with a calf so we can be confident about the birth date.
Not included in this summary are the many calves that were with their mothers when we began the study, many of which are now sub-adults.
The birthing season in this area seems to be primarily in the fall and winter. from that perspective the number of births occurring each 'season' falls between 3 and 7.
I noticed while compiling this list that only one identified mature female in Area One is currently without a calf; Trigger last gave birth in 2007 to a calf - buttermillk - that did not survive. Other candidates for the next to give birth are Nibbles and KayCee, both of which last had calves in 2007.