Selective Feeding

Grizzly bear Eating

Depending on the time of the year grizzlies have selective eating habits.  When the salmon first appear in the coastal rivers any salmon and all of the salmon is eaten. This also applies near the end of the salmon run if the grizzly bears have not gained enough weight for hibernation. In between these two times the bear can be “fussy”. It starts with rejecting the male salmon because they do not have the fat rich roe (eggs). The popular body parts are the brain, skin with its layer of fat beneath and the roe. Often the remainder of the salmon is left on the riverbank for a less selective bear or for scavengers such as seagulls, crows, ravens, bald eagles, and pine martin. This grizzly as one can see by its size has reached the “roe only” stage of eating salmon.



Berry Picking Grizzly

Spring grizzly

It is a little later in the season with different bears than the ones in Oct. 1st posting but still in the river estuary. This mother and cub have just come out of the salmon berry patch behind the three alder trees. Mom is back to grazing however the cub is cautious as this is only the second time this family has appeared along the shore. The Glendale River mouth has a constant spring population of four to six grizzlies that appear most days and added to that is a roaming population that appears for a week and then moves on to be replaced by a different family. Nature arranged it this way so the guides have some new bears and are never sure what each day will bring.



Male Grizzly

Large Grizzly Bear

In the spring before the salmon arrive the grizzly bear tours from the lodge run up Knight Inlet to Glendale Cove and observe the bears that forage in the river estuary and on the beach. The high protein sedge grass is often one meter (yard) high. Also there is an abundance of skunk cabbage roots, which is a grizzly favourite. At this time of the year we use a large flat bottom skiff that allows us to move in the shallow waters along the shore and further up the river providing great photographic opportunities.



Spring Grizzly Cub

Grizzly with new cub

Late May the grizzly bear mothers and cubs start to show up on the shore of Knight Inlet. The hibernation ends in April or early May and they work their way down from the higher elevations where the snow is dryer for hibernation. When the cubs see their first boat that stops off shore they run and hide in the logs up the beach but by the third visit they sit close to mom and watch us. After the third visit we become part of the scenery / background and are of little interest. Cubs main interest is food and they gain weight rapidly during their time with the mother — their weight will have ballooned from 4.5 to 45 kg (10 to 99 lb) in the two years spent with the mother.