Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn sheep are also called mountain sheep. They are in the cattle, goat, and sheep family. Sheep climb and jump.

What does a bighorn sheep look like?

Males are called rams. Females are called ewes. Ewes are smaller than rams.

Ewes have one baby in the spring. Baby sheep are called lambs.

Bighorn sheep have good eyes. Their fur is gray, brown, or tan. It sheds in summer. They have horns. Old rams have horns that curl. Bighorn sheep are strong. They have a thick neck.
Their hooves are good for mountain climbing. Bighorn are good swimmers.
What do bighorn sheep eat?

Bighorn sheep eat grass. They get water from mountain pools. They also eat snow.

Where can I find a bighorn sheep?

The bighorn sheep go to the mountains in summer. They go down to the foothills in winter.

You often see them on cliffs.

Bighorn sheep are found in the mountain ranges. Look for them in the western US and Canada.
Who are the friends and enemies of a bighorn sheep?
Bighorn sheep have many enemies. These enemies include cougars, golden eagles, wolves, coyotes, bears, bobcats, and lynx. Golden eagles attack young lambs.
Humans have pushed the bighorn sheep to remote areas.

More Information

Note: All photographs were taken with a digital camera in Rocky Mountain National Park (Colorado), Hells Canyon (Idaho), and Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming) during July and August, 1999. Pictures also came from Glacier National Park (Montana/Canada) 2001.

Developed by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 6/99. Update4/02.