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Photo Information
Copyright: Niek Bouwen (SunToucher) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2385 W: 237 N: 3033] (11162)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-06-19
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Sigma 18-200 Zoom F3.5-6.3 DC, Tiffen 62mm UV
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/640 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Travelogue: Summer Vacation 2006: USA
Theme(s): Mammals of the USA [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-07-21 12:43
Viewed: 4079
Points: 14
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Driving along the same road as where we spotted the bull Elk, we came a cross a large herd of Bisons. Most of them were sound asleep and some stand guard or we just woke-up. I made severall different photos but picked this one, because in the background you can see the steam of a geyser. This is what I consider typical Yellowstone; Bisons and geysers.

some facts from Wikipedia:
The American Bison (Bison bison), is a bovine mammal that is the largest terrestrial mammal in North America, and one of the largest wild cattles in the world. With their huge bulk, wood bison, which are the largest subspecies in North America, are only surpassed in size by the massive Asian gaur and wild water buffalo, both of which are found mainly in India. The bison inhabited the Great Plains of the United States and Canada in massive herds, ranging from the Great Slave Lake in Canada's far north to Mexico in the south, and from eastern Oregon almost to the Atlantic Ocean, taking its subspecies into account. Its two subspecies are the Plains Bison (Bison bison bison), distinguished by its flat back, and the Wood Bison (Bison bison athabascae), distinguished by its large humped back.

The Bison is also commonly known as the American Buffalo, although it is only distantly related to either the Water Buffalo or African Buffalo.

As few as 750 bison existed in 1890. The Famous Buffalo Herd of James "Scotty" Philip in South Dakota was the beginning of the reintoduction of Bison to North America.In 1899, He purchased a small herd from Dug Carlin, Pete Dupree's brother-in-law, whose son Fred had roped 5 calves in the Last Big Buffalo Hunt on the Grand River in 1881 and taken them back home to the ranch on the Cheyenne River. At the Time of Purchase there where approximately 74 Pure buffalo and it was believed to be one of the largest known herds left in North America. Scotty's goal was to preserve the animal from extinction. At the time of his death in 1911 at 53, Scotty had grown the herd to an estimated 1,000 to 1,200 head of Bison.

The Bronx Zoo maintained a captive herd, some of which was transported in the early 20th century to Yellowstone National Park to bolster its faltering indigenous herd (which poaching had reduced to a few dozen animals), joining with transplants from other wildlife preserves. Some of these came from Charles Goodnight's ranch in the Texas Panhandle.

A variety of privately-owned herds have also been established, starting from this population. The current American Bison population has been growing rapidly and is estimated at 350,000, but this is compared to an estimated 60100 million in the mid-19th century. Current herds, however, are all partly crossbred with cattle (see "beefalo"); today there are only four genetically unmixed herds and only one that is also free of brucellosis: it roams Wind Cave National Park. A founder population from the Wind Cave herd was recently established in Montana by the World Wildlife Fund.

LCannon, manyee, Evelynn, SkyF, njmv79 has marked this note useful
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To Evelynn: LightSunToucher 1 07-22 04:13
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Critiques [Translate]

This is a wonderful shot Niek! I love the one standing bison and the geyser in the background. What a nice size herd, when I was here 33 years ago I didn't see any bison, or bears either, but then we only spent 2 days passing through. This is a wonderful "postcard" for yellowstone park, well done.

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-07-21 17:35]

Hi Niek,
Great shot of this sleepy-headed herd.
It is unusual to see a photo of bisons at rest, and so many of them at a time. It is also interesting to see how they are all at different stages of molting. Your note was very informative, and I enjoyed reading them.
TFS. : )

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  • Scott Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 225 W: 0 N: 356] (1752)
  • [2006-07-21 18:40]


That's quiet a sight.

Thanks for the note.


I really like the bison. We really enjoyed the antics of the babies and juveniles at the Tetons earlier this month. These are entitled to lie around and soak up as much sunshine as they can get as they endure a very hard winter. They look a little untidy until they have shed that winter coat. Did you see them rubbing on the trees?

This is an interesting image with the steam and all. Have you noticed that images lose a lot of saturation when they are saved for the web? I assume this image isn't quite so light on your computer. I usually darken images some before saving for the web.

Thanks for sharing

Evelynn : )

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  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-07-24 9:14]

Hello Niek,
very nice shot of this herd. Very nice POV and wonderful details. The geysir in the back ground adds a special mood to this shot. Very well composed.

Niek my dear fellow friend, what caught my attention to this picture of yours is the vast number of them, really it's nice, here in Africa, national parks struggle to get food and animals are not seen in much number, really sad but good to know somewhere in the world this does not happen, TFS,

Hello Niek,
Amazing animals indeed!
Maybe not the best season to photograph them as they are getting rid of the winter coats, but that's an important part of nature too...
It is really interesting to see so many in a relaxed situation and obviously with no interest at all in the photographer!
A well composed presentation with fine details...
Pablo -

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