River Scavengers

Bald eagle

The bald eagle is a majestic bird and it is exciting to watch them dive and pick food out of the water.  But like all wildlife a free meal is a free meal and an eagle makes no excuses for being a scavenger. If an eagle can grab a leftover salmon carcass and get a free meal they are the first in line before the seagulls, crows and ravens. This bald eagle was overhead eating a salmon while we moved up the river in search of more grizzly bears.


Grizzly Bear Cubs Alone? 2 of 2

Grizzly Bear and cubs

Not a big surprise that after crossing the river the cubs climbed onto the log and the mother appeared from the other side of the log for a happy reunion. As I have said in other post the cubs at times are not that fond of getting wet. Sometime it is necessary for the mother to go ahead and disappear from sight so that the cubs will follow. We just happened to arrive when the cubs were reluctantly crossing the river to catch up with mom.



Grizzly Bear Cubs Alone? 1 of 2

Grizzly Bear Cubs

The grizzly bear tours from Grizzly Bear Lodge prior to August 25th are to the area of Knight Inlet’s Glendale Cove. After and hour and fifteen minute boat ride we transfer to a 5.5 meter (yard) skiff and explore the river estuary and travel up the river as the tide rises. On this day we came around a bend in the river to find three grizzly cubs crossing the river with no mother in sight. You need to know that while in the river your guide in normally pulling the skiff through the water so our approach is very quite and the mother grizzly was not aware of our presence. Tomorrow’s post reveals the mother’s arrival.


Humpback Whale Lunge Feed 2 of 2

Humpback lunge feeding

The joy of being able to spend time with the humpback whales in the viewing area used by Grizzly Bear Lodge is the variety of experiences that happen each tour. Aside from watching the whales lunge feed in the dramatic photo form yesterday’s post to the more sedate lunge in today’s post is the variety of other wildlife. Wildlife such as orca / killer whales, Stellar sealions, harbour seals, porpoise, dolphins, bald eagles, variety of sea birds and frequently black bears.



Humpback Whale Lunge Feed 1 of 2

Humpback whale lunge

At first glance it is hard to make sense of this picture. Sure it is something coming out of the water and that does look like a large pectoral fin but what is happening. A humpback whale (not too far from the boat) is making a sideways lunge through a ball of herring and turning at the same time. Tomorrow’s photo is more sedate


Black Bear Grazing

Black Bear on shore

The common expression heard around Grizzly Bear Lodge is “Black bear are where you find them.”  That is to say that from the time the boat leaves the dock in the morning until it returns your guide in constantly looking for black bears. The first evening at the lodge is an hour and half tour to familiarize you with the boat and your guide and to look for black bear. And on all tours for whales, grizzly bears or to Trapper Rick’s black bears are on the agenda. Black bears come to the shore for a change of diet from berries and to get some protein. This bear has found the ideal location as the logs are covered with muscles and barnacles, which are devoured shell and all.


Killer Whales Approaching

Killer Whale Coming

This is not the classic photo of an orca /killer whales. The classic photo would show the orca from a side view with its head far enough out of the water to get a good view of the white eye patch. But this is a much more interesting photo because it means that pretty soon there are going to be orca very close to and under the boat. From my experience of guiding whale watching tours the guests prefer the second.


Grizzly Bear Identification

Grizzly Bear Head


This mother of triplets is easy to identify and not because of the triplets as there were several sets of triplets this summer and even one family with four cubs. Hear distinctive feature is the almost bald patch that extends back from her eyes. In this photo she has just taken a break from fishing below the viewing platform. She is followed by one of her cubs (nose by her left leg) and has decided to graze on the grass on the bank (some still in her mouth). It is not uncommon to have a salad break after eating salmon all morning.


Knight Inlet Summer Grizzly Bears

Grizzlies Waiting

The time of the grizzly bear watching can be determined by the size of the bears.  The grizzlies of late May and June are much leaner as they are recovering from a period of hibernation and will be adding little fat to their body. Through July and early August they start to show the effect of all the protein from grazing on sedge grass and turning over the beach rocks.  By early August the salmon start to appear in the rivers and this is when most of the “bulk” starts to show. So this is a mid-August photo with the grizzly bears starting to develop a rounded body and curves where there used to be boney angles. This photo in from Knight Inlet’s Glendale River estuary on a rising tide. Grizzly Bear Lodge uses this river basin for all our tours and prior to August 25th the tours are in the river estuary and after the date we use the viewing platform further up the same river.

Steller Sea Lions

Sea Lions Resting


A rare photo of steller sea lions at rest when they are actually quiet and resting. On most stops to observe and photograph the sea lions they are acting as their name suggests and roaring like lions. They seem to be in a constant state of turmoil with animals coming out of or diving into the water. Others climb over those trying to “rest” while looking for the perfect location so they can “rest”.  Maybe the tranquility of the islands in yesterday’s post does have a side effect in causing at least a little peace for the sea lions.