Answer: They’re not! When I first saw these 2 sheep, I thought they were just being chummy. But what happened next proved me wrong! It seems this was just a “pre-conflict” sizing up of each other. The two then backed away a couple of feet, then WHAM … they proceeded to butt heads with each other! Now I had not seen this action, in person, before this incident so it was quite a thrill! And being either juvenile rams or ewes (I saw that one was a ewe, but couldn’t tell the sex of the second one), this action is not nearly as pronounced as the big rams, when they battle for mating rites in the fall. But nonetheless, it was quite an experience for me! Here are a few images I made as this action happened several times while I was with the sheep:
Quit an awesome action, huh? Well, I’ve added one additional image that concludes this post. This last image is included because it shows just how frantic the action was … see how the sheep on the right has it’s back feet/legs totally in the air? … and if you look really close, you might be able to see some of the small rocks/dirt being flung into the air. These gals were not playing games … they were definitely trying to make a point to the other one!
This is one time I wish I had the video rolling. But I was handholding my Canon 7D with the 100-400mm lens attached and I was so close that I had the lens at ~100mm! So, no way I was going to be stable enough (without my tripod, which was in the car) to shoot video handheld. But that’s ok, I got to witness a really great show! And I’m planning on a fall trip to try to catch some rams in their mating ritual process, where the head butting is much more intense, running at each other at ~ 20 mph … and from a much larger distance! By the way, if any of my readers know of a “sure” place to photograph such action, I’d certainly appreciate it. I do have a couple of locations in Colorado identified, but still looking for other options.