Musk Ox in Norway

We had seen Musk Ox (ovibos moschatus) every day during our stay in Norway's mountains, but I had never gotten close enough for a good shot. Finally, on our last morning, other tour members reported a pair quite close to our lodge, and I hustled up after breakfast. Just one was still visible, having wandered further, but I had a good view from above. He has just been feeding on the vegetation in front of him. His left eye is hidden by his own hair, and I never saw it. (The fence behind is there to prevent the musk oxen from getting too close to people.)

Musk ox have lived for many thousands of years in far northern regions mainly in North American and Greenland. They evolved to survive temperatures below minus 50° C), but hunting severely threatened them by the 20th century. Norway's population was reintroduced in this area in 1932 and currently numbers 215 animals

Today we drove some four hours to an area north along the Trondheim fjord (well north of the city), with a more coastal selection of birds, including above all Slavonian (horned) grebes; black-throated, red-throated, and great northern divers (loons); and black guillemots. We spent the night in Levanger, before driving south to the Trondheim airport the next morning. All in all, the five-day trip was absolutely wonderful.

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