Humpback whales over the past seven years have become a common sight in our viewing area. Rather than traveling to the Alaskan waters to feed they are spending their summers along the southern coast of British Columbia. The colder, coastal waters attract the humpbacks because in the summer months the area is rich in prey, including small schooling fish such as herring, capelin, and pilchard, as well as krill. The whale will lunge through a shoal of prey with mouth gaping open often exploding at the surface with both food and water. They may eat up to 1,400 kg (3,000 lbs) of food a day.
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.