Europe’s great predators Wolves, Bears & Lynx photographed in Bayerischer Wald National Park,Neuschonau.
Thanks to TATRA Photography for all the organisation and Chris Weston for his advice.
The Bavarian Forest
Bayerischer Wald is a wooded low-mountain region in Bavaria, Germany. It extends along the Czech border and is continued on the Czech side by the Šumava (Bohemian Forest). Geographically the Bavarian Forest and Bohemian Forest are sections of the same mountain range. A part of the Bavarian Forest belongs to the Bavarian Forest National Park (Nationalpark Bayerischer Wald) established in 1970 as the first national park in Germany. Another 3008 km² belong to the Bavarian Forest Nature Park (Naturpark Bayerischer Wald), established 1965. The Bavarian Forest is a remnant of the Hercynian Forest that stretched across southern Germania in Roman times. It is the largest protected forest area in central Europe.
The Eurasian Wolf (Canis lupus lupus), also known as the, European, Common or Forest Wolf is a subspecies of grey wolf which has the largest range among wolf subspecies and is the most common in Europe and Asia, ranging through Mongolia, China, Russia, Scandinavia, Western Europe and the Himalayan Mountains. Compared to their North American cousins, Eurasian wolves tend to have longer, more highly placed ears, narrower heads, more slender loins and coarser, tawnier coloured fur. Compared to Indian wolves, Eurasian wolves are larger, and have longer, broader skulls. In Europe, wolves rarely form large packs like in North America, as their lives are more strongly influenced by human activities. Because of this, Eurasian wolves tend to be more adaptable than North American wolves in the face of human expansion.
The Eurasian lynx is the biggest of the lynxes, ranging in length from 80 to 129 centimetres (31 to 51 in) and standing about 70 centimetres (28 in) at the shoulder. The tail measures 15 to 25 centimetres (5.9 to 9.8 in) in length. Males usually weigh from 18 to 30 kilograms (40 to 66 lb) and females weigh 17.6 kilograms (39 lb) on average. Male lynxes from Siberia, reportedly where the species has the largest body size, can weigh up to 38 kilograms (84 lb). It has powerful legs, with large webbed and furred paws that act like snowshoes. It also possesses a short "bobbed" tail with an all-black tip, black tufts of hair on its ears, and a long grey-and-white ruff.
During the summer, the Eurasian lynx has a relatively short, reddish or brown coat, which tends to be more brightly coloured in animals living at the southern end of its range. In winter, however, this is replaced by a much thicker coat of silky fur that varies from silver-grey to greyish-brown. The underparts of the animal, including the neck and chin, are white at all times of the year. The fur is almost always marked with black spots, although the number and pattern of these is highly variable. Some animals also possess dark brown stripes on the forehead and back. Although spots tend to be more numerous in animals from southern populations, Eurasian lynx with heavily spotted fur may exist close to others with plain fur.
The Eurasian brown bear has brown fur, which can shift from yellow-brownish to dark brown, red brown, and almost black in some cases; albinism has also been recorded. The fur is dense to varying degree and the hair can grow up to 10 cm in length. The shape of the head is normally quite round with relatively small and round ears, a wide skull and a mouth equipped with 42 teeth, including predatory teeth. It has a powerful bone structure, large paws, equipped with big claws, which can grow up to 10 cm in length. The weight varies depending on habitat and time of the year. A full grown male weighs on average 265–355 kg (583-780 lb). The largest Eurasian brown bear recorded was 481 kg (1,058 lb) and was nearly 2.5 m (8.2 ft) long. Female 150–250 kg (330-550 lb) although weigh as little as 90 kg (200 lb) in the spring.
The Three-toed Woodpecker, (Picoides tridactylus) is a medium-sized woodpecker.
The adult is 21.5-24 cm in length. It is black on the head, wings and rump, and white from the throat to the belly; the flanks are white with black bars. The back is white with black bars, and the tail is black with the white outer feathers barred with black. The adult male has a yellow cap
Three-toed Woodpeckers nest in a cavity in a dead conifer or sometimes a live tree or pole. The pair excavates a new nest each year.
This bird is normally a permanent resident, but northern birds may move south and birds at high elevations may move to lower levels in winter.
Three-toed Woodpeckers forage on conifers in search of wood-boring beetle larvae or other insects. They may also eat fruit and tree sap.
These birds often move into areas with large numbers of insect-infested trees, often following a forest fire or flooding.