Southwestern Guesthouses on 265 Acres
near Silver City, New Mexico
overlooking Bear Creek and the Gila Wilderness

Casitas de Gila Nature Blog

A Blessing of Rocky Mountain Bighorn Lambs!

Bighorn Lambs and their Mommas
Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep and Lambs on the cliffs above Bear Creek

What a treat! Two Rocky Mountain Bighorn lambs, born within the last couple of days, appeared around noon today on the cliffs across from Casitas de Gila Guesthouses on Bear Creek. Becky noticed the babies running along the side of the cliffs (amazing!) and had me get the camera. So exciting and wonderful to be able to watch new-born wild animals right outside our door!

The two ewes we blogged about in early January stayed here on the cliffs up until about three weeks ago, with only a few absences for three or four days at a time. The big ram never returned. It almost seemed as if he told the ewes, “You stay here, where you’ll be safe, and you have good water and food, until the babies are born”. As the weeks went by, Becky and I noticed (or at least convinced ourselves) that the two ewes seemed to be getting more rotund. Then three weeks ago they disappeared. We were worried. Did a mountain lion get them? Did they just decided to move on?

Bighorn Sheep and their Lambs
They are so small! And boy, can they get around already!

Three days ago, I noticed that three ewes appeared on the cliffs. The next day two Casita guests who had been hiking along the creek told us they had encountered five sheep below the cliffs eating the new grass along Bear Creek. They thought there were four ewes and maybe one young ram. They related how they had retreated back a safe distance on the opposite side of the creek so that they would not scare the sheep and proceeded to watch and photograph them. They were really quite excited because not only had they seen Bighorn Sheep, but on their way back to their Casita they came upon six young mule deer drinking from the creek and eating the new grass!

There was no way of telling if the two ewes that had been here were part of the new group of five, but the thought that they might have returned to have their babies was exciting. But yesterday, despite repeated inspection of the cliffs, I could find no sheep and concluded that this must be another group of sheep passing through …

Bighorn Ewes and Lambs
Time to eat!

But, no! There they are! We’re sure they are the same ewes that came all winter, and now they have babies, no more than 1 or 2 days old! Already those baby sheep are running along the vertical cliffs! It’s truly something to see and we, and our guests, are very, very blessed.