Black Bear for the Win
Jim Stroner’s shot of a bear emerging from its den wins our 2013 Winter Nature Photo Contest.
The votes are in, and we have a winner of our 2013 Winter Nature Photo Contest. Jim Stroner, of Minnetonka, Minnesota, takes first place for his shot of a black bear emerging from its den.
“Lily” as she’s known, is one of several bears that scientists at the Wildlife Research Institute have been studying and watching via a “den cam.” She gave birth to her third litter this past January. Stroner, who’s a volunteer research assistant with WRI, says he got the shot during a recent visit to see Lily and her cubs where they live in the woods near Ely, Minnesota.
“We went out there after the cubs were born to adjust the position of the [den] camera a little bit. It’s a brush pile den, and the camera goes through the side of the den. I saw her inside,” Stroner says. “We saw her get up like she was going to move towards the opening. I moved to the other side of the brush pile and laid down in the snow and waited for her to poke her head out through the den opening.” When she did, he was ready with his camera.
Although he’s been taking photographs since he was a kid, Stroner says he was “kind of surprised” that he won. “I wasn’t really planning on entering the photo, but my wife is a big Science Friday fan,” he says. “She told me I needed to put something in there. So I thought, I’ll enter it and see what happens.