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Elk (bugling) (ringtone)
Bill Ebbesen

© Dennis Hysom (audio)
Elk (bugling), Cervus elaphus
The distinctive "bugle," or "whistle," of a bull elk is a challenge to other bulls and a call of domination to cows. This vocalization begins as a bellow, changes almost immediately to a loud, shrill whistle or scream, and ends with a series of grunts. Only the whistle carries over long distances. Females are attracted to the males that bugle more often and have the loudest call.

The most polygamous deer in America and perhaps the world, the bull elk assembles a harem of up to sixty cows—and can lose up to 20% of his body weight during mating season warding off other bulls. Male elk grow, shed and grow anew the following year their distinctive antlers, which can grow up to an inch a day. Elk (also known as Wapiti) are a symbol of the American west and range throughout it. Learn more about this species
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