Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! The marmots are sleeping right now, but marmot love is still in air! Here are a few of the things we’ve observed as we watched the marmots from afar.
That “Marmot Kiss”. We regularly observe marmots touching noses. It is almost always pups with a parent or between a pair of bonded adults. We call this pair bonding – an activity that strengthens the relationship between a pair of marmots. It is just as sweet to see in the wild as you expect.
Marmots who Sleep Together Stay Together. Marmots who hibernate in the same burrow often become a pair (hopefully with pups). We’ve observed a number of occasions when seen two marmots who couldn’t stand each other in the fall, but hibernate in the same burrow, have a change of heart when they wake up. Sometimes they even go on to raise pups together. (It must be noted that this is always what happens. Some marmots are just not compatible, no matter what!)
A marmot is never too old for love. This winter, two of our favorite marmots are hibernating together, and our fingers are crossed for pups in the spring. One the of the remarkable things about this pair is that the female is Muffin. She is 12 years old – one of the oldest wild marmots ever!
Sometimes you to have go looking for love. That marmot hibernating with Muffin? That’s Alan the Bamfield Marmot! Alan is quite the traveler, having found his way first to coast. Then after we relocated him to Haley Bowl, he had explore alllllllll the nearby colonies before coming full circle last spring and falling in with Muffin at Haley. Will he settle down? We think so, as he and Muffin have spent a lot of time together this past summer.