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A Cute Kid on the Trail

I’m on the road, relishing a beautiful mountain retreat I haven’t visited in six years. One of my favorite parks, Glacier National Park offers breathtaking views, fields of midsummer wildflowers, and wildlife galore. Including Mountain Goats. I found her at Logan’s Pass on a wet summer morning. You can see how scruffy her coat is. It had rained overnight, and a light rain still fell on goats (and photographers) as I walked the trails. The goats, of course, didn’t care. They happily grazed the wildflowers—and they had thousands to choose from. I framed the photo above just as this little kid picked up its head.

Nannies form nursery groups during breeding season, so this kid had numerous other young goats to socialize with. But the nannies remain very protective of their youngsters and often gather their kid up, wary not only of young billies but even of other nannies.

Mountain goats live relatively short lives—just a dozen years on average in the wild. And the kids? They have only a 50% chance of surviving their first year of life, and just a 50% chance of surviving their second. So I’ll be happy if I get a chance to see them again this year.

To see a few more of our Mountain Goat photos, visit our gallery.

To read more about the Mountain Goat, visit the following sites:

Mountain Goat [National Geographic]
Basic Facts about Mountain Goats [Defenders of Wildlife]
Mountain Goat [Wikipedia]