Always a treat seeing a bear cub, in this case it's a four month old grizzly bear cub. Its mother would have given birth to it in mid January, being under a pound at that time. The cubs will normally end up spending their first four months in the den with their mother, nursing on her milk until they come out of the den around May. By then with mother by their side, they are ready to face the outside world.
The flowers are coming out every where now, the remaining snow is melting and ground is becoming soft. Ground received lot of moisture in the form of snow and rain, now with war warm weather the ground is getting lot of colour.
Couple of weeks ago, a day after snow fell on the mountains, I was out taking pictures as the sun set. The valley was turning green while snow still lingered higher up. The wind was calm which meant having to deal with mosquitos, but a vey small price to pay to get the picture. I just had to wait until the clouds moved into the position, once they did it was time to take the picture.
This large male grizzly has been busy during the mating season. At the start of the season he was following a female in the Lake Louise area. Then few weeks later he decided to cover about 60 kms over few days to see another female. Yesterday he was back near Lake Louise with another different female. And only he knows what he was up to during the times he has not been spotted between those three encounters. He has been busy, covering the distance and keeping ahead of the larger males to mate with a willing female. And he still has few weeks to go before the mating season is over. Just a small window into the life of a male grizzly bear.
Until next moment,
During the summer the goats will make their way to the bottom of the valley to look for minerals. This male was just doing that along with few others. There is no guarantee which day and what time, because I'm out there on a regular basis, there is always a chance I will be seeing them. Most of the time I see them high up on the side of the mountains, but I can't complain when I get to see them bottom of the mountain.
Sometimes the pictures says it all.
The black bear does not get the same attention as the grizzly does. In North America black bear is easily the most distributed bear on the continent, and globally it's not considered threatened. In many parts of Canada you can see a black bear, most likely you have already seen a black bear. But in Banff, where we have a small growing season and much of it being rock and ice, we have about the same amount of black bears as we do grizzlies. Grizzly, the dominant predator get most of the attention in the park. The black bear is not bothered by the lack of publicity, give it some space and it goes about its merry way.
During part of a morning I watched couple of hummingbirds taking nectar from these small flowers belonging to gooseberry plants. About every ten minutes one of the hummingbird would show up to take the nectar and I would take their pictures during the process. Hummingbirds need lot energy each day, so when these flowers are out they take full advantage of it.
Making an effort to spend more time looking at and taking pictures of wild flowers. Paintbrushes are out and can be seen at many areas in the mountains and more to come as weather gets warmer. Right now this flower is bringing colour to the floor of the valley and then will be found in the meadows at higher elevations.
A large grizzly male spotted walking on the road one evening. Had a very determined fast paced walk, he seems to be headed to a certain location. It's the mating season and perhaps he was searching for a female that might be where he was headed.
In the Rockies it's rare to see more then one grizzly togetherunless it's a mother with her cubs or it's the mating season. Breeding for the grizzlies begin in May and goes until early July. For the males, when not sleeping, it's all about eating, eating and looking for a female during the mating season. Even after searching far and wide and coming across a female, there is no guarantee she will mate with him. He'll follow her for days, courting her as she plays hard to get and might even charge him. The males rarely go on the offensive, but wait until the female is receptive and ready to mate. Once that occurs, they may mate over few days and then go their merry way.
Until next moment,
It was an another beautiful quite morning in the Rockies. The water was calm for a while and the reflection was beautiful to watch and to take pictures of. After taking few pictures, it was then time to look for birds.
Not sure what was going on, but I saw these three elk while birding. They were rising back and forth in different direction. I looked around to see if there was a a predator, none spotted. After a while they ran away from me and did not return. Maybe they were excising.
Less then a week ago the night sky was lit up with Northern Lights, they were so bright in Banff National Park, one could see them in the town of Banff surrounded by street lights. It seems like half of the town was up to watch, while the other half slept, only to find out in the morning what they missed. There are far more reliable place to watch Northern Lights in Canada, but that night you would have thought Banff was on that list. When you can look south and or stand in town and still see the lights, then it was a special night.. If you missed it, eat chocolate everyday until the next aurora borealis night.
It was a sunny day, these three were licking minerals and taking in the sunshine. It's amazing how easy they make it look, standing on the very smallest ledges. Only mammal that gives the mountain goats run for their money when it comes to maintaining balance in the Rockies side of steep slpoes.
New life is out, these two about a week old were spotted eating and moving with their parents , who were right behind them. With waterfowls the young have to be able to move soon after the force their way out of the nest. Dealing with the real world right away, parents will do their best to provide safety from the elements and predators.
The mother is there from the time the calf is born. Helping to locate and eat food, providing safety from predators. Helping to get you through the first winter. Helping to survive all the challenges nature and at times human throw at the calf. Then just as the calf starts getting closer to being a year old, the mother turns on her calf. Becoming aggressive and starts charging, trying to drive the calf away. The mother is pregnant and needs all her energy to look after the new calf that will be born soon. After several days of pushing, this calf moved on.
After warm summer like day, winter was back. Snowed most of the day though out much of the park. After work I was out looking for things to take pictures of. This Red-tailed Hawk was perched top of a tree, head partially covered by snow. Helping me get my winter like picture for the day.
So far it has been a good season for seeing large male black bear. This one was one of the first one, he was also one of the first black bear to wake up from his winter sleep. It seems the bigger they are the slower they travel. Having lot of confidence, not too worried abut other bears or predators. I saw him later in the day slowly making his way through the valley.
The Barred Owl was not only out in the open but also calling out. So it did not take long before the magpies arrived and started harassing the owl. Magpies and other birds will harass any bird or mammals that will harm them or their nest. So when they have a chance, harassing is a normal reaction when predator are spotted.