We woke to heavy fog on this morning. Sitting in camp drinking coffee we felt like our chances of finding a wolf were just about nil. Then we heard howling in the distance.
American black bears (Urus americanus) are remarkable animals who exploit a tremendous diversity of habitats across North America, including the temperate rainforests of the west coast. They are the unsung heroes of the Ursidae family.
This spirit bear has not been seen since 2020, when she was picked up on a trial camera. To say we are excited and relieved to know she is alive and well is an extraordinary understatement.
You take what you get with wolves. Most of the time what you get is a lot of waiting and time to contemplate things. If you’re paying attention, there is always something to see. So all the waiting is okay. But when a curious wolf pup appears out of nowhere and trots past, well, that’s another thing entirely.
Life is full of repetitive and mundane tasks. And, occasionally, also encounters like this.
20 years ago, I cut my teeth as a Great Bear Rainforest bear guide running grizzly bear tours in coastal estuaries. Spring on the British Columbia coast is glorious. There is nothing like the sweet fragrance and vibrant greens of spring, mingled with birdsong, snow-capped mountains, and the sight of grizzly bears amidst all.
A fish so fat you can light it with a match, eulachon have been a critical part of Coastal First Nations culture for hundreds of generations.
When you spend time looking for wolves, most of the time you end up watching other things instead. On this evening, it was sandpipers. Semipalmated or Western? In the fading light, I couldn’t be sure, and it didn’t really matter. It was good enough to simply watch them wheel and swoop in unison, each bird exquisitely sensitive to its neighbour, each responding to the smallest flicker of a wing.
One of the things that fascinates me about nature is all the things we don’t know. There is still so much mystery out there. As my Dad likes to say “ there are more questions…
You may be aware of the tight connections between salmon, forests and bears. But have you ever thought about the connections between salmon and songbirds? Perhaps it’s time you did?
2019 was an exceptional year for us with incredible bear sightings. Here’s a re-cap of some of the main characters from our tours in the Great Bear Rainforest.
As the 2019 spirit bear season approached it seemed there was one question on everybody’s mind: would Ma’ah still be with us? Ma’ah is a white bear who is closing in on 20 years old….
I worked as a guide in the Great Bear Rainforest for 14 years before I managed to get a decent photo of a coastal wolf.
Three years is a long time to wait for anything. But finally (finally!) I was able to see the Great Bear Rainforest IMAX film.
I have read there have been more books written about wolves than any other species. There is something so compelling about them and, yet, they are also polarizing for people. Opinions about wolves are strong…