INTRODUCING……..”RITA”

I’ve been trying to get to know two Ravens the last few months,Robbie and Rita. Robbie wasn’t around tonight but Rita came over to say hello!

Bar none Ravens are the most intelligent creature out there! There are humans……and than Ravens! When they look at you,you can see the gears turning. They’re figuring you out before you do!

They also hold mythological status in many cultures! If your superstitious,don’t piss off a Raven..they have friends! A gathering of Ravens is called a unkindness,a conspiracy or a congress. I lean towards congress myself!

With Eagles the females are larger than the males,with Ravens the males are larger than the females. I hope to get some shots of Robbie!

SUPER WORM MOON

Each full moon has a name. The March full moon is called a “Worm” moon. This is what I found out about the Worm moon………Native Americans called this last full moon of winter the worm moon after the worm trails that would appear in the newly thawed ground. Other names include chaste moon, death moon, crust moon and sap moon, after the tapping of the maple trees.

Because the orbit is closer this month Its also a Super Worm moon!

  1. Wolf Moon – January
  2. Snow Moon – February
  3. Worm Moon – March
  4. Pink Moon – April
  5. Flower Moon – May
  6. Strawberry Moon – June
  7. Buck Moon – July
  8. Sturgeon Moon – August
  9. Harvest Moon – September or October
  10. Full Corn Moon (Harvest) – September
  11. Hunter’s Moon (Harvest) – October
  12. Beaver Moon – November
  13. Cold Moon – December

“DELILAH” MAKES A RARE APPEARANCE!

Delilah was perched close to me and I didn’t even see her! By the time I was able to shoot she was already beginning to high tail it out of there.  She’s not a fan I guess.

I remind you that this is Delilah #2. The original Delilah liked me much more. It was still nice to see her close up at any rate, It seems I never see her!

ROMEO AND JULIETTE

Many people have asked me over time, “how do you tell the difference between the females and males”?

The above two shots show the best comparison. A female eagle is about a 1/3 larger than the male. Romeo is on the left with Juliette in behind on the right. You can see how the females beak is much larger. A males head/beak contour is more streamlined.

It’s hard to tell in the beginning but If you pay attention to the beak head ratio,you’ll be able to tell If Its a female or a male zipping past at mach one!

Note: Juliette is further away than Romeo but appears larger. I’m guessing that she’s about 4 feet behind Romeo. If she was right beside Romeo she would appear even larger.

 

OH CRAP!

I found Ernie perched on a container in the harbour. He seemed rather upset? I looked closer and could see something white on his left wing? I recognized what it was right away!

He looked at me as If to say “DID YOU SEE WHO CRAPPED ON ME?”

It just goes to prove that Gulls crap on everybody and everything indiscriminately……….of course Ernie found and ate said crapper!

ONE HANDSOME GUY!

The Daredevil flew out to greet me! His partner Delilah (2) actually flew around the corner. His new partner avoids me like the plague. Which just goes to prove how unique each eagle is! They are just like you or I. Sometimes you meet someone and get along with them and than sometimes you meet someone who you dislike instantly!

The Daredevil and I get along famously! I do consider him a friend!

ROMEO’S ARRIVAL

It was so good to see my friend flying out to greet me today! He cannot see me until I come out from behind a near by island. I always watch to see him jump when I come around the corner. Most times he doesn’t disappoint,but sometimes he’s either not there or not feeling sociable.

I’ve missed him very much! It seems like I haven’t gone to see him in years! The weather has been so poor that I haven’t been able to get out for 6 weeks!

We got one day of sunshine today and I certainly took advantage of it!

ERNIE AND ETHEL’S FROSTY VIEW

The last few days Tofino has been getting snow. We do get it yearly but not that often. I miss the snow to be honest. I grew up with plenty of snow and always did so many wonderful things! My favorite was winter camping. Tracking animals was much easier in the snow!

Ernie and Ethel were perched on top of their Strawberry island perch. They are staying close to each other these days as its mating season. Wherever Ethel goes Ernie is always close behind.

SURFS UP AND SO ARE THE STORMS

We’ve had many wind storms this winter so far! Hardly a sunny day to poke about. If your not into the rain,best to stay home with your book by the fire.

Tofino has become Canada’s hot spot for surfing! The best in the world flock to our small hamlet! One thing that’s very different here is the water temperature! To keep reasonably warm everybody wears a thick neoprene surf suit.

Only experienced surfers need apply during the winters storms!

HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM TOFINO!

I couldn’t allow the year to slip past without wishing you all a Happy New Year and great health to you all!

Romeo perching upon his throne

and on a sunset flight

Maggie warning another eagle to stay away from her domain!

The Daredevil’s close up.

Romeo’s moon

Romeo admiring his Juliette!

Romeo posing

and The Daredevil’s sunset.

and remember that every time a eagle crosses your path,an angel gets its wings!

Happy New Year from the west coast of Canada!

GRICE BAY TRAIL CAMERA SET UP

During the winter season we get a lot of Trumpeters wintering over. They fly down from the Yukon. They only stay in very quiet bays. The bears tag team them. When the bears go to bed,the Trumpeters arrive.

In our area Grice Bay is HQ for Trumpeters. There are around 30 to 40 staying in Grice during the winter time. Grice bay is a perfect for them! Nobody ever goes down there…….or very few! In thirty years I have yet to see another person down there when I’m there! People stay away because at low tide the bay empties exposing the mud flats.

Many birds stay down at the end but the ones I’m interested in are the Trumpeters.

So to document the Trumpeters winter stay I have placed a trail camera down there to observe.

Each time I use one of these camera traps the set up is unique. In this set up I hammered a 2X4 into the earth and attached the housing. I need the cover for the camera because of the winters rains!

I think I’ll go back in two weeks time to swap the card and batteries. I never know exactly whats going to walk past?

SALMON VIDEOS

Back in September I placed a trail camera up river to capture the goings on of the locals.

This is my first time using these cameras in this manner. I set it up and left it for several months. I came back twice to swap out the cards. The first time I left the camera for a month. After swapping the card and getting home I found the 32 Gig card had filled up in only 6 days,and than It sat there for 3 more weeks doing nothing! Clearly I needed to cut down on the memory being filled so quickly!  The  camera turns on when anything walks in front of it. I found a lot of the memory was being filled up by bears searching for salmon at night. I couldn’t tell what was going on but I could see their beady eyes shining back at me.

I’ve always been curious If bears hunted for salmon at night? I’ve never been brave enough to paddle upstream to find out myself.  Our eyesight isn’t that good in the dark,maybe we could get away with it during a full moon but generally speaking we are blind as bats out in the dark. Bears have a reflective layer coating the back of their eye. Think of a stainless steel bowl. This reflects the light back out.

The eye is made up of two basic units,rods and cones. Cones are used for colour while rods are used for light intensity. Light coming into the eye hits the front of the rod creating a signal. It than hits the back of the eye and the light is reflected back out to the backside of the rod where it is detected a second time. So by having this extra light capacity the animal can see very well in the dark. Many animals have this ability. Our own pets have this reflective coating.

So I decided to cut out all of the night shots to help reduce the storage problem. I also cut the video length from 30 seconds to 15 seconds. I programmed it to come on at 7 am and turn off at 7 pm.

I found this stretched the memory capacity significantly! Here are a few videos for your entertainment.

This shows a bear searching for salmon. He cannot see but we can that there are zero salmon in that pool. Keep searching buddy!

This video shows a bear that has grabbed a salmon. Once a bear grabs a salmon they usually walk off into the forest right away so another bear won’t see them with the salmon. If another bear does see it with a salmon there is a good chance it would go after that bear. Which usually causes the bear to drop its prize and flee in fright!

Bullying is alive and well in Nature!

This shows a bear walking through the lower pool in search of its breakfast.

You can see a eagles failed attempt at grabbing its own breakfast.

This is the last video I shot. It shows me arriving to grab the camera. Season was done!

DEADMAN’S CRESCENT

This is Deadman island,its in Tofino’s harbour. The Natives would take their dead there and put them up in the trees. (Which was not a bad idea if they died of something contagious!) They believed it was Evil spirits that killed their loved ones and so wanted the evil spirits to be elsewhere!

They would put them in small Bentwood boxes. Many times the limbs would have to be broken to fit into these beautifully hand crafted wooden boxes.

The crescent moon adds a nice touch.