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On request of Ulla and Gert

On request of Ulla and Gert
Photo Information
Copyright: Paul van Slooten (pvs) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-06-09
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Sony Alfa dSLR A700, Sony 300mm F2.8 G, Digital RAW 400, bean bag
Exposure: f/4, 1/125 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2008-06-12 2:20
Viewed: 5678
Favorites: 4 [view]
Points: 44
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Today another picture out from edsbyn's bearhide,a bear rubbing his back against a tree,a habit I could observe a few times during my stay in the hide,in this case the light was best for photography (in the WS I will post another one,which I think is funnier,but the quality a bit less due to the lack of light),I post this picture on yesterdays request of ulla (uleko)and gert (ellis 49),two members with a great input on the site TrekNature

Why Do Bears Rub Their Back against the Trees?

There's no itch as far as the bears' habit of rubbing their back against trees is concerned. In fact, this has been found to be a scent mark, warning others to keep off from the real master of the place.

Many theories tried to explain this habit. Some believed females
could do it when they were at the peak of their fertility, while others thought that bears just attempt to cover their backs in sap, employed as insect repellent.

But a new two-year research of grizzlies in British Columbia employing digital cameras to gather information on which bears employed the trees for rubbing and when (the same rub trees can be used for generations, so there's no difficulty in observing this behavior). Satellite equipment also monitored the bears' individual movement.

"The cameras show that adult male bears are the most likely to rub trees, and the satellite telemetry tells us that males move from valley to valley in large loops, marking trees as they go, while looking for breeding females," said author Owen Nevin, ecologist of the University of Cumbria.

"By marking the trees with their scent, the male bears get to know each other better, which could reduce fighting among the bears over female mates. Big male bears can seriously injure or even kill each other when they get into a fight. If one recognizes the other from the scent marks on the rub trees in the area, he knows he's in for a tough fight — he's on the other guy's patch so to speak — so it might be better to back away than make a serious challenge." said Nevin.

Offspring also use the rub trees when a male is attempting to chase them away from their mother (males are known to kill sometimes a female's offspring to force them enter the fertility period, so he can get a chance to fertilize her).

"They can visit the tree two or three times a day, sometimes within an hour of the big males, so it may be that smelling like him makes them safer — related animals smell similar and animals are less aggressive toward relatives," explained Nevin.

iris, elizabeth, mariki, uleko, Argus, pekkavalo1, Alex99, viv, mayuresh, maurydv, Dis. Ac., Amadeo, meyerd, SelenE, bartove, vanderschelden, wrangell has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Gorgeous! He looks so cuddly! LOL.
Nice colour, great composition and good lighting. I would crop a little bit off the bottom to lessen the intrusion of the OOF foreground, otherwise perfect! I like this image a lot.

PS - the pose of the bear in your WS is a dag. Looks like all he needs is a can of beer in one paw and his day will be complete! :-))

Hello Paul,

What a great action shot! Excellent compositon. POV, DOF and sharpness are great. Excellent pose of the beer for both original and WS version. Very good natural colours.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-06-12 3:40]

Hej Paul,
Thanks for posting this, I love it! The one in the workshop is great too! You really managed to get a most impressive selection of shots from the hide so the trip was well worth it!! Interesting to read your note too!
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-06-12 3:53]

Hello Paul,
For just this capture of a bear your trip to Edsbyn has been well worthwhile.
The image is sharp and well composed to show a fantastic expression on the bear's face as he is rubbi´ng his back on the tree trunk. A great capture in a natural environment.
TFS this delight,

BTW, I like your website!

Hi Paul,

Very good capture of Bear with good pose and composition, excellent colours, BG and sharp details.



Hi Paul,
Wow! That must have been an impressive moment to witness! What an excellent capture! I like everything about this picture. Soft colors, POV, exposure, details, action caught and this blurred foreground give this capture super style! Thanks,

  • Great 
  • viv Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 292 W: 3 N: 653] (3317)
  • [2008-06-12 5:21]

Hi Paul,
It is so great to see that it is rubbing its back, it is almost human, and in spite of your poor circumstances in the shelter, the POV is super.
Very well done

TFS and greetings

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-06-12 5:29]

Hi Paul.
Bravo. Amazing scene, pose of the fine animal and picture at whole. It is great work of superb lens and skill photographer. In spite of bad light conditions you managed to produce perfectly exposed shot with plenty attractive details, wonderful bokeh, delicate colours. In addition shot is composed and framed excellently. My congratulations. Well done.

Hi Paul
This is really cool shot of this beautiful bear.
Well done and TFS

Hi Paul,
An excellent action shot!superb composition with great sharpness.
very well done.

Spettacolare momento di cattura con l'orso che sollecita la nostra visione antropica degli animali, eccellenti POV e composizione, ottima nitidezza, bellissimi e naturali i colori. Molto bella e simpatica anche l'immagine in WS. Grazie e complimenti. Ciao Maurizio

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-06-12 11:23]

Hallo Paul,
Wat een prachtige scene. Dan mag de lichtkwaliteit misschien niet optimaal zijn, het is zeker de moeite van het bekijken waard. wat een belevenis om dit zo te mogen zien. De beer lijkt zo relaxed. Prachtige scherpte en diepte in de foto.

Hallo Paul,

wederom een mooie foto van deze beer.
Zo'n foto van een staande beer zie je niet zoveel.
Prima dof en pov ook.


  • Great 
  • Amadeo Gold Star Critiquer [C: 168 W: 0 N: 755] (3323)
  • [2008-06-12 15:11]

Hola Paul, el momento captado es muy bueno, expresión alerta y a la vez de satisfacción del oso. una toma con buen enfoque, luz y color. Un saludo

  • Great 
  • meyerd Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 585 W: 64 N: 2238] (7531)
  • [2008-06-12 23:13]

Hi Paul,
your great photo safari continues. This is a once-in-a-lifetime picture of a Bear! Interesting to see the big bear stand up on its hind leg. Bears are as far as I remember the only plantigrades together with man so they should stand on their feet from time to time :-) Very good text to go along, thank you for both, picture and text.
Best regards

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-06-13 1:15]

Hi Paul,
What a cute photo :o) Pose you captured is very good. I think you managed the exposure very well under the low light conditions. TFS

Nice shot nice colours and nice pose

  • Great 
  • Dando Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 637 W: 32 N: 792] (3084)
  • [2008-06-13 5:54]

When you have an itch, you just got to scratch it! Great capture, good timing and well composed! TFS and thank you for your visit.


  • Great 
  • iris Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 479 W: 60 N: 970] (3088)
  • [2008-06-13 23:09]

Hi Paul,
A very interesting presentation...infact reading your notes i am reminded of similar activity of marking the area by cheetas..i saw the program recently on Animal Planet where two baby cheeta's were reared and released in wild .....This is an excelllent pose you have captured and provides a very good study on bear behaviour.
Very well done.
TFS & Cheers

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-06-14 13:24]

Hello Paul, great shot! A perfectly well exposed picture and a really good moment captured. Well done on the note too, very interresting, thanks!


great and original capture, tFS Ori

Only one word, Great!

Fantastic image, Paul.
No idea why they do it but it certainly provides us photo opportunities.
Very well done

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