Image of the month for 2012 is this photo of a breeding brown bear pair at Hallo Bay, katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska, on the coastal brown bear photo tour last week. It was an amazing trip, with some great photo opportunities, perhaps the highlight of which was this breeding pair we found at Hallo Bay.
Twice we were able to watch and photograph this behavior, which was definitely a rare opportunity.
Females will often breed with more than one male during the short (2 month) breeding or mating season. We watched minutes earlier as this sow rejected the advances of another, much larger male, who then chased this male away, then himself walked off up the bay. This smaller male returned, and bred with the sow for 15-20 minutes.
The larger male then returned, and this guy left. The larger male hung around the sow for another hour or so, but didn’t have the good fortune of this guy, that we saw.