• Kathy Winkler Studio

Hitchhiker 1

Updated: Aug 27, 2019

It is just an amazing experience to watch bison traverse across all kinds of terrain. These bison, a bull and cow, were crossing to another part of the what seemed like hundreds of acres in North Dakota. This single hitch hiker on the back of this bull doesn’t seem to care where he catches a ride.

Cowbirds and bison have a rather commensal relationship in which the birds benefit from the activities of the bison, where the bison is neither helped or harmed by the presence of these birds. I have seen many birds, maybe 5 to 7 at a time sitting atop a bison. As the bison move, a disruption is created by many insects that prey on the bison, but then being stirred up, the cowbird can then consume. Bison tend to discourage the presence of the small bird’s predators.

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