Canada Goose

 have been saving this picture for a while, it was my first sighting this season of the goslings, there were two sets of family hanging out near each other. I stayed in the middle and kept taking pictures as opportunities presented themselves. It was during  the morning and the sun was quickly rising, couple of town staff cleaning up the area were the only other people in the area. We all decided it was a good way to start the day, seeing  little balls of golden yellow running around their parents. I had to make minor adjustment to my location, I wanted the sunlight to be hitting them from the back, also kept making minor adjustments to the camera setting to get some details in the goslings. After spending about twenty minutes, I was happy with what I got and continued my bird walk.

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This one year old grizzly, showing more independence but still not too far from its mother. After realizing his mother and sibling had moved on, it quickly covered the distance.

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Lake Louise

I avoid busy places on my days off, or I'm in early and leaving when the crowds move in. A few weeks ago I had found myself on the shores of the busy Lake Louise during one evening. I was sitting to the side, watching an Osprey flying along the shore when not perched top of the trees. Just a hundred meters from me a large group was singing away, lasted about half an hour. Two guys moved near me and one asked his phone why the lake's water was green. Four hikers stopped after hiking in the back of the lake, some took pictures while one stretched and sang few words. Others moved next to me to take their pictures with the lake behind them, they were amazed how beautiful the lake looked on their phones. I kept waiting, taking my camera out a couple of times when the combination or light and shadows were to my liking.

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The life cycle of a plastic bottle. The oil that is extracted from the ground is cleaned at the refinery and  then at the plastic factory the oil is transformed into plastic pellets, followed by bottle pre-forms. The pre-forms are shaped into bottles and then filled with water, which end up in the stores. From there the water is purchased and consumed, most empty bottles ends up at the landfills, some are recycled and few are thrown out as litter. Still a lot of work needed to not use plastic when possible, recycle when used and not litter at all. This grizzly mother may only find water in the plastic bottle, but the plastic can still harm her mouth and the bad habit was quickly picked up by her cubs. All wildlife need from us is a space to call home.

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Bighorn Sheep

This ewe and other Bighorn Sheep were moving along the valley, then one by one they started climbing, in few seconds this female was twenty meters above me looking down, the dust still settling. A good skill to have when trying to get away from predators.

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Harlequin Duck

Harlequin Ducks are normally found in fast moving water, but on the day the picture was taken two pairs were hanging out in calm water not far from the fast moving river. They were diving, searching for food, the like of fish, marine invertebrates and insects.  The colourful males leave the breeding area and head for coastal waters after the females begin to incubate, where the males will begin their annual moult. The nesting females stay behind looking after the family before joining the males. I was just hoping to get a few good pictures of the ducks, but got an added bonus of evening sun lit trees being reflected onto the water. 

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Bald Eagle

Before they started nesting, these two mating Bald Eagles were hanging out. They were perched along side the Bow River, calling out every now and then while watching other birds below them. The eagles mate for life, they will keep nesting in the same area at the same nest. They will protect their nest territory from other eagles when needed. Few weeks after they were on their nest.

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Black Bear

Black Bear claws are adapted for them to easily climb trees, cubs right out of the den they are ready and capable. Unlike the long claws of the grizzly bears, the black bears have sharp, shorter and curved claws, perfect for climbing trees to get away from predators, a place to sleep, rest or to find food. Two black bears can get into a fight on a tree, the advantage would be for the bear  below, the upper bear can't fight face to face and when bears do climb down, their bottom has to be facing the bottom. In the case of this picture, the cubs were sleeping on the tree while their mother was feeding below. She climbed up the tree and woke up her cubs, the sleepy heads one by one climbed down.

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Black Bear

Lots of food out there for the bears to feed on, this male was travelling through the valley, stopping to eat. I'm sure this large male like the other large males has matting on his mind. During this time of the season they do lots of travelling, hoping to find mates. It's probably the only time of the year when they are not sleeping, when eating becomes secondary.

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I have seen my share of wildlife, each time I come across wildlife it reminds me why I live in the mountains. Getting to live in an amazing place, where the more I explore the more I want to be out there. Seeing this beautiful grizzly helps me look forward to my next outing.

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 In the morning I came across half a dozen elk, among them a new born calf, staying close to its mother. On the other side of elk were friends who were returning from bird watching, all getting to see a 15 to 16 kg calf, covered with spots. The mother was still licking the calf, trying to remove all sent that would give away the calf’s location to the predators. The mother was locating a secure spot for the calf, until it was ready to be able to run away from danger. Around the calving season there are more bear sighting in the area, all looking for an opportunity to locate a defenceless calf. Other predators join in as well, just minutes before this picture was taken, a female coyote was in the area, sent running by the elk. Soon after the mother took the calf into think vegetation, where the calf could rest, be nursed and kept safe. 

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Bighorn Sheep

I came across this young ram bottom of the valley, licking minerals off the ground. With the warmer weather, they are losing their winter coat and gaining weight with green vegetation to eat. But even with al the food warm weather brings to this and other bighorn sheeps, they still need to find minerals to stay healthy.

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Black Bear

Early on morning I saw an adult back bear eating, no sign of any other bears. A tree near the bear had something different on it, on closer inspection with my camera I saw something small and black. soon to my amazement the female adult went up to wake up her cubs, who were sleeping on the tree. One by one they came down.

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Common Nighthawk

Since mid April I have been getting out at 6am, birding.  I was doing the same few mornings back, hoping to hear and or see something interesting. The birds were singing all around me off all sizes. Yellow,  Tennessee and Yellow-rumped Warblers, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, Willow Flycatchers, Clay-coloured, White-crowned and Song Sparrow to name a few. I even got surprised with not one, but two Gray Catbirds, one of them was singing while the other looked for food. There was one bird song I did not recognise. It was too far for me to get a close look, as I  listened to its calls in the distance, out of the grass next to the trail flew out a bird. It was moving too fast for me to get a picture of, so instead I watched it and tried to ID it. To my surprise, it landed middle of the trail just ten meters from me. It was my first sighting of a Common Nighthawk. A threatened species as of 2010, due to habitat loss and agricultural development. This nocturnal bird was most likely roosting in the grass and by chance I got too close, as soon as I took the pictures, it flew off into the bushes.

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