Species Spotlight - Northern Bison

Bison, also known as buffalo, are very large animals with a shaggy dark brown mane. They have humped shoulders and short legs that are covered with hair. They have a long tail with a furry end, called a tuft. Their coat is extremely thick in order to keep them warm in cooler temperatures and in the summer months they shed to keep cool.

Short, black horns stick out from the bison's massive head, just above their eyes. These horns are used to defend themselves against predators. Bison's eyesight is poor, but their hearing and sense of smell is very good. In fact, a bison can smell an animal three kilometers away.

Male bison are called bulls and have large, square-shaped necks, while females have smaller, rounder necks and are referred to as bison cows.

Bison feed mainly on grass, plants and sometimes berries. Finding food in the winter isn't a problem for the bison. They swing their large heads from side to side and push the snow away in order to find grass.

Despite their size, bison are very fast creatures, able to run up to 55 kilometres per hour. They are also excellent swimmers, but are so buoyant that the head, hump and tail stay above the surface of the water.

Bison are mostly active at night time and at dusk.

Bison used to roam in herds of thousands, but are now found in much smaller groups. In North America, bison are still hunted by Grizzley, grey wolves, and cougars. In northern Canada, they roam freely in protected areas. Today, small herds are found in northeast Yukon, British Columbia, northwest Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories.

When we head to the Yukon we will be photographing the Northern Bison Heard just west of Whitehorse. This hear is approximately 3,000 in numbers and frequently found along the road sides that we will be driving through to see these magnificent creatures.

To learn more about our trip to the Yukon, please see this link. http://northof49photography.com/yukon-wildlife-tour

If you would like information, or to go on our waiting list for our trip to Saskatchewan for Bison, please contact us.

the information contained in this blog post comes from Canadian Geographic.


Kevin A Pepper

Kevin is a photographer and educator based in Waterloo, Ontario. His first love is photographing nature, regardless of the season or weather condition; the Ontario landscape and its wildlife are his inspiration. But you will also see other styles of photography in his portfolio. From street photography to urban exploration of abandoned buildings and architecture, he loves to capture it all with his camera for his corporate clients and his growing personal portfolio. Kevin’s images have been featured in Canadian Nature Photographer, PHOTONews Canada, Photo Technique Magazine, The London Free Press, The Weather Network, and National Geographic Online. His diverse client list includes the City of Cambridge, Olympus, GORE Mutual, TVO, and African Lion Safari. Kevin also operates “Northof49 Photography”, a company launched in 2012 dedicated to teaching amateur photographers through International and Canadian-based workshops. In the coming year, Kevin will be leading workshops in Iceland, Mongolia, Tanzania, Venezuela, Provence, and numerous destinations across Canada. Website: www.kevinpepperphotography.com