Saturday, March 1, 2014

A Cast of Bighorn Sheep Characters

by Steve Reiss (Dalmdad Landscape Photography - and

In 1961, The Bighorn of Death Valley, the results of a landmark study on the subject, was published by the Department of the Interior.  The report, over 240 pages long, was the culmination of almost 1700 hours of field observation of bighorns; primarily in the Black and Funeral Mountains of Death Valley, between 1954 and 1961.

The report, while dry at times, has some fun information and pictures for those fascinated with the desert bighorn.  From time to time, I intend to present tidbits from the report here on our blog.

Cover of the report

The report starts by listing the "identification names" of the 51 bighorns that were observed on a regular basis.

Some of the more amusing and creative names were:
  • Black and Tan (ram)
  • Kinky (ram; had kinks in both its horns)
  • Knocker (ram)
  • Rambunctious (ram; great pun)
  • The Stranger (ram)
  • Brokeoff (ewe; one horn broken off)
  • Old Mama's Lamb (lamb)
  • Badboy (lamb)

A complete list of the names of the 51 bighorns are shown below.


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