Sierra Nevada Bighorn
407 West Line St.
Bishop CA 93514
Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Program
Bighorn sheep typically appear very stoic, calmly sitting out the most violent mountain storms while lighting strikes near. They can often be observed standing on the highest point gazing into the distance. While they appear calm and relaxed, this is a type of vigilance behavior. Using their keen eyesight, they stand guard looking for predators.
At the right time of year their personalities shine. For rams, this is during the rut (mating season) in late fall. To establish dominance and the right to mate, rams put on an amazing display of behaviors. In the low stretch, rams lower their head and stretch their necks to appear bigger. The real battles come in the form of neck wrestling and spectacular head butts or horn clashes which create a sound like thunder. Ewes show their motherly instincts in spring and early summer during the lambing season. Ewes increase their vigilance behavior, and if the mothers in a group detect a threat they huddle close to each other with their lambs in the center protected from harm