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SWWASAS

Gifford Pinchot Encounter April 21, 2015

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SWWASAS

Dave It is probably a Portland to Spokane flight or someplace in Montana. Departures to the North PDX to Seattle are mostly West of I-5. Arrivals to Portland from Seattle, do a St Helens arrival which has them just West of Mt St Helens. They fly pretty much over my house every 30 minutes headed South.

BTW, I have watched that ridge line being logged for several years. It is the next ridge North from Kloochman Butte. Kind of sad because when that ridge was heavily forested, I could sit on the flank of the Butte with my spotting scope and watch for BF on the next ridge. So bare now I doubt that they would be there in daytime because of the logging.

I was looking at Silverstar and spotted a dark figure down in the valley below. I stared at it and nystagmus made me think it might be moving but figured it a stump so put my camera in 30X telephoto to take a couple of pictures. Was a pretty convincing stump until viewed at 30X. One of these days I will get something that is not a stump but sadly will probably not realize it until get home to look at the pictures. The habit of BF to rock back and forth, when spotted, does not help, when nystagmus makes your eyes move and gives you pretty much the same effect. Makes one wonder why BF does that rock back and forth thing.

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hiflier
BFF Donor

Hello SWWASASQUATCHPROJECT,

 

It a curious reported characteristic. I do have some thoughts on the maneuver though. It's first of all attention getting so to me it's meant to be a distraction like when robins feint that they have a broken wing and take off from the nest. Fill in the reasons as you see fit ;) To me it is designed to hold one's gaze on the swayer. Does it mean there is family hidden close by? The rest of a hunting group? A distraction to protect juvenile perhaps? Cause one to look at the BF to influence attention from a nearby nest? It's anyone's guess really as to why they sway but they must be aware how much it makes them visible.

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MIB

The sway ... I do that myself when I'm hunting if I see something.    What I'm doing is geometry.    By moving side to side ... consider the thing I'm looking at as a sort of optical fulcrum or pivot point.   When I move side to side, I can look beyond the subject, see how much that motion seems to cause the background to move, and helps me refine my guestimate of distance-to-subject.   In other words, it enhances the accuracy of my depth perception.

 

If we've gotten close, that sway might be part of trying to figure out how big we are to help clarify what we are ... an "us" or a "them".

 

Only a wild guess, of course, but like I said, it's a thing I do deliberately, so .. maybe.

 

MIB

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hiflier
BFF Donor

Hello MIB,

 

Good point. I can certainly see the benefits of doing that. It's sort of like having a built in range finder.

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BigTreeWalker

It also helps you discern whether what you are seeing is a composite of branches, shadows, ferns, etc. Or an actual animal. By moving around it changes the perspective as MIB states.

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SWWASAS

MIB could it be also the side to side sway effectively increases the distance between your two eyes and give you a better estimate of the range to an object at an unknown distance? BF is a hunting machine that has to run down prey. It if has a good estimate as to the distance it can establish in intercept heading and cut off the prey. In the case of a human, it is probably ranging and determining if it has time to simply amble off or if it needs to run or in a worst case do a bluff charge. Some have suggested that the sway might be hypnotic in nature like a cobra but I tend to discount that. Cobras do not hypnotize me. Certainly I have heard several sighting reports where the BF is caught in the open and the sway is evident. Or it could be as simple as the BF knows it is out in the open and not near reachable cover, and it wants the human to see it and be appropriately afraid. If the human turns tail and runs off, problem solved for the BF, it can just continue on its way.

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MIB

Yeah, that's what I was trying to say.   Sorry, guess I missed.  :)

 

The other possibility ... that shifting side to side could be giving one leg or the other an advantage for an immediate burst of speed for fleeing to one side or other or to launch an attack if you're prey.   

 

Dunno.  Throwing spaghetti against the wall to see if any of it sticks. 

 

MIB

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SWWASAS

One report in particular near Saddle Mountain East of Seaside,   from a National Guard sergeant, as they drove past a gravel pit they saw 3 BF standing there in the open watching them.   He guessed it was a family group consisting of male, female, and offspring.    When the BF saw the Humvee they were in, the large male started swaying back and forth.    Two of the Humvee occupants saw the BF off to the side in the gravel pit. 

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BigTreeWalker

I can see where the behavior could be useful. But in some cases, as in that one, it appears to be a nervous reaction to an uncomfortable situation.

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SWWASAS

^^^^^ You could be right.  It would be good to have such an encounter and get my own read on it.  The Sgt did not believe in BF at the time of the encounter.   Coping with the shock of seeing BF I don't think he could have processed what might have triggered the swaying.   Like MIB mentioned,   maybe they are swaying back and forth because that are trying to figure out which way to move off.    Who knows maybe they are really poor decision makers?.   

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Cryptic Megafauna

Swaying would perhaps be a tactic to disorient and mislead awareness. 

Hustlers use body posture to misdirect attention.

If the animal was only in your subliminal subconscious and aperceptional peripheral cone of vision 

could even cause you to not register a presence at all.

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BigTreeWalker

Their main behavior seems to be to avoid bumans. That kind of movement does not fit in with avoidance of humans because our eyes pick up movement very well which allows us to zero in on the mover. And our peripheral vision is very good at doing this.

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Cryptic Megafauna

But most have low awareness peripheral, hence central focus, hence conscious and subconscious interface, hence weaving.

As your mind weaves awareness, awareness weaves reality, and the the weave is weaving the weaver.

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SWWASAS

I just had a thought about the swaying and I am not at all trying to be funny.    Ever watch a young child that needs to urinate?.    They kind of sway back and forth or dance around.   Perhaps the sudden sight of man when you are caught out in the open,  makes adult male BF get an urgent need to pee?.   Fight or flight sort of thing.   I watched a video of two brown bears fighting each other not long ago.   One emptied its bowels during the fight.    I know it works the other way when a BF did the chest beating thing behind me.    If I had not already been relieving myself I would have wet myself.     Just one possibility to consider. 

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