Ravens in the Interior begin displaying courtship
behavior in mid-January, and by mid-March adult pairs are
roosting near their nesting locations. The female lays
from 3 to 7 eggs. Only the female incubates the eggs; she
is fed by the male while on the nest. The chicks hatch
after about three weeks blind, featherless, and helpless:
a characteristic known as altricial. They grow quickly, as
both parents feed the young by regurgitating food and
water which is stored in a throat pouch. About four weeks
after hatching, young are ready to leave the nest, which
is usually around the first week of June in the Interior.
Young remain with parents after fledging.
Ravens reach sexual maturity at 3 or 4 years of age and
mate for life. Ravens are probably very long-lived in the
wild; one captive bird died of old age at 29 years.
The Greek god Apollo is sometimes called Apollo Lykios, the
wolf-Apollo, and was associated with the wind and sun. In
Athens, the land surrounding the temple of Apollo became known
as the Lyceum, or the “wolf skin.”
In 1927, a French policeman was tried for the shooting of a
boy he believed was a werewolf. That same year, the last wild
wolves in France were killed.
When Europeans arrived in North America, wolves became the
most widely hunted animal in American history and were nearly
extinct by the beginning of the twentieth century. The U.S.
Federal government even enacted a wolf eradication program in
the Western states in 1915.
Dire wolves (canis dirus) were prehistoric wolves
that lived in North America about two million years ago. Now
extinct, they hunted prey as large as woolly mammoths.
A wolf can run about 20 miles (32 km) per hour, and up to 40
miles (56 km) per hour when necessary, but only for a minute or
two. They can “dog trot” around 5 miles (8km) per hour and can
travel all day at this speed.
The smallest wolves live in the Middle East, where they may
weigh only 30 pounds. The largest wolves inhabit Canada, Alaska,
and the Soviet Union, where they can reach 175 pounds.
Wolves howl to contact separated members of their group, to
rally the group before hunting, or to warn rival wolf packs to
keep away. Lone wolves will howl to attract mates or just
because they are alone. Each wolf howls for only about five
seconds, but howls can seem much longer when the entire pack
A light-reflecting layer on a wolf’s eye called the tapetum
lucidum (Latin for “bright tapestry”) causes a wolf’s
eyes to glow in the dark and may also facilitate night vision.
While a wolf’s color perception and visual acuity maybe be
inferior to a human’s, a wolf’s eyes are extremely sensitive to
Where there are wolves, there are often ravens (sometimes
known as “wolf-birds”). Ravens often follow wolves to grab
leftovers from the hunt—and to tease the wolves. They play with
the wolves by diving at them and then speeding away or pecking
their tails to try to get the wolves to chase them.
In ancient Rome, barren women attended the Roman festival
Lupercalia (named for the legendary nursery cave of Romulus and
Remus) in the hopes of becoming fertile.
A man belonging to the Raven clan living in a very large town had
lost all of his friends, and he felt sad to think that he was left
alone. He began to consider how he could leave that place without
undergoing hardships. First he thought of paddling away, but he said to
himself, "If I paddle away to another village and the people there see
that I am alone, they may think that I have run away from my own
village, on account of some other disgraceful thing." So he thought that he would go off into the forest.
While this man was traveling along in the woods the thought occurred
to him to go to the bears and let the bears kill him. The village was at
the mouth of a large salmon creek, so he went over to that early in the
morning until he found a bear trail and lay down across the end of it.
He thought that when the bears came out along this trail they would find
and kill him.
By and by, as he lay there, he heard the bushes breaking and saw a
large number of grizzly bears coming along. The largest bear led, and
the tips of his hairs were white. Then the man became frightened. He did
not want to die a hard death and imagined himself being torn to pieces
among the bears. So, when the leading bear came up to him, he said to
it, "I have come to invite you to a feast." At that the bear's fur stood
straight up, and the man thought that it was all over with him, but he
spoke again saying, "I have come to invite you to a feast, but, if you
are going to kill me, I am willing to die. I am alone. I have lost all
of my property, my children, and my wife."
As soon as he had said this the leading bear turned about and whined
to the bears that were following. Then he started back and the rest
followed him. He imagined that the biggest bear had told his people to go
back because they were invited to a feast. When he got home he began to clean up. The old sand around the
fireplace he took away and replaced with clean sand. Then he went for a
load of wood. When he told the other people in that village, however,
they were all very much frightened, and said to him, "What made you do
such a thing?" After that the man took off his shirt, and painted
himself up, putting stripes of red across his upper arm muscles, a
stripe over his heart, and another across the upper part of his chest.
Very early in the morning, after he had thus prepared, he stood
outside of the door looking for them. Finally he saw them at the mouth
of the creek, coming along with the same big bear in front. When the
other village people saw them, however, they were so terrified that they
shut themselves in their houses, but he stood still to receive them.
Then he brought them into the house and gave them seats, placing the
chief in the middle at the rear of the house and the rest around him.
First he served them large trays of cranberries preserved in grease. The
large bear seemed to say something to his companions, and as soon as he
began to eat the rest started. They watched him and did whatever he
did. The host followed that up with other kinds of food, and, after they
were through, the large bear seemed to talk to him for a very long
time. The man thought that he was delivering a speech, for he would look up at the smoke hole
every now and then and act as though talking. When he finished he
started out and the rest followed. As they went out each in turn licked
the paint from their host's arm and breast.
The day after all this happened the smallest bear came back, as it
appeared to the man, in human form, and spoke to him in Tlingit. He had
been a human being who was captured and adopted by the bears. This
person asked the man if he understood their chief, and he said, "No."
"He was telling you," the bear replied, "that he is in the same
condition as you. He has lost all of his friends. He had heard of you
before he saw you. He told you to think of him when you are mourning for
your lost ones."
When the man asked this person why he had not told him what was said
the day before, he replied that he was not allowed to speak his native
language while the chief was around. It was on account of this adventure
that the old people, when they killed a grizzly bear, would paint a
cross on its skin. Also, when they gave a feast, no matter if a person
were their enemy, they would invite him and become friends just as this
man did to the bears.
Not all birds have equally hollow bones. Those that dive into
water—like gannets, terns, and kingfishers—and those that fly
very fast, like swifts, have less air in their long bones than
What keeps a bird up in the air is the shape of its wings.The
first humans to discover how birds stay aloft were Australian
Aborigines when they invented the boomerang.
The linear flight formations of migratory birds are called
echelons, with the most common shapes being the “V” or the “J.”
In fact, a true V-shaped formation is less common than a J
formation. Birds fly in formation a) because it saves energy and
b) to facilitate orientation and communication among the birds.
An albatross can soar for as long as six hours without moving
The heaviest bird in the air is the Kori Bustard, from East
and South Africa. It weighs about 31 lb. (14 kg.), with the
largest on recorded being 40 lb. (18 kg.). Because it is such
hard work to fly, it flies only in emergencies and for only
A Ruby-throated Hummingbird, which weighs less than 0.2 oz.,
has to beat its wings more than 52 times a second to hover in
front of a flower.
The smallest bird in the world is the Bee Hummingbird of Cuba.
It is just over 2 in. (5.7 cm.) long, which is not much bigger
than a bumblebee.
The fastest level flight by a bird has been seen in both the
Spine-tailed Swift and the Red-breasted Merganser (a duck). They
have flown at 100 mph (161 kph) in level flight.
The slowest flying bird is the American Woodcock. It can fly
at just 5 mph (8 kph). When hummingbirds hover, they move at 0
mph. Additionally, hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly
backwards under power, registering a negative speed.
The Rufous hummingbird is the smallest migrant bird. It is
less than 4 in. (9 cm) long and flies every year from Alaska to
Mexico, a round trip of 3,800 miles (6,400 km).
Sandhill cranes are among Alaska’s largest birds. They are
wading birds that have long black legs, long necks, and black
chisel-shaped bills. Adults stand almost three feet (0.9 m)
tall and have a wing span of six feet (1.8 m) or more. Mature
birds are an ash-gray color with a bright red forehead.
Immature birds are quite mottled with coppery or rusty
feathers and lack the red forehead of adults. Adult plumage is
attained at two-and-a-half years. In the past, the sandhill
cranes in Alaska were called “little brown” cranes and were
thought to be a separate species based on their color.
Typically one female wolf in a pack has a litter of
about seven pups each year. This varies, in some packs
more than one female may bring off a litter.
In some cases a pair of wolves may not form a pack or
belong to a pack, and will bring off a litter of pups.
Alaska is home to an estimated 7,000 to 11,000
A man belonging to the Te'qoedî went hunting on Unuk (Djû'nAx)
river, and came to a bear's den. While he was examining it the male
bear threw him inside. Then the bear's wife dug a hole in the ground and
concealed him there. When the male bear came in he said, "Where is that
man that I threw in here?" "I haven't seen anyone. You haven't thrown
anybody in here." "I did. I threw a man in here." The male bear became
angry at her denials and left her, upon which the man married this bear
and had children by her, although he had a family at home.
Meanwhile the man's four brothers looked for him continually, keeping
away from their wives so as to find him, but in vain. They could see
his tracks in the snow, but they could not discover where they led to.
They suspected the truth, because other hunters had also been captured
there by animals, and the shamans told them that this had happened to
him. As soon as they left the town with their dogs, however, the
she-bear could feel it and made them pass by.
But the youngest boy had not searched. Finally he started off too,
and the bear felt that he was coming, but she found that she could not
make him turn aside and said to her husband, "Well! we are caught." The
dogs scented him, and, when he looked out, there was his own dog
barking. He called to it by its name, Man-for-the-mountains (Câ'yîs!-xwa).
Then his brother knew what was the matter and came to the mouth of the
den with his spears, determined to bring back his brother alive or dead.
When the man saw his youngest brother outside he said, "Stand right
there. Don't do any harm. I am here. Although I am with this wild
animal, I am living well. Don't worry about me any more."
When he was first taken into this den it looked like a den and
nothing more, but that night he thought that he was in a fine house with
people all about eating supper, and his wife looked to him like a human
In May, when the bears were about to leave their dens, his wife said,
"Now you can go to your village. Take good care of your little ones.
Don't go near your wife. Don't look toward her even." So he went to the
place where his brothers were living and said, "Tell my wife not to come
near me for a while. She must have pity on me. Ask her to stay away."
Then he began to go off hunting. He had luck from his bear wife, and
killing seals was nothing to him. One day, while he was out, he saw some
bear cubs coming toward him and presently found that they were his
little ones. Then he gave them all the seals he had killed. He fed them
every day. When hisyounger brother went hunting with him and the cubs came running
toward the canoe, he would say, "Don't be frightened. Those are your
children" (meaning" your brother's children").
By and by his human wife came to him. She was angry with him and
said, "Why do your children starve on my hands? What are you doing
feeding cubs instead of my little ones?" After that, though he did not
dare to say a word to his wife, he began feeding her children. He
thought, "I wonder what will happen to me now for feeding the little
Presently he went hunting again and again took some seals to his
cubs. As he was going toward them he noticed that they did not act the
same as usual. They lay flat on the ground with their ears erect. Then
he landed, but, when he got near them, they killed him. It is on account
of this story that the Te'qoedî claim the grizzly bear.
BBC film crew stayed with us, and filmed exclusively at Hallo Bay. All brown bears and end image are Hallo Bay Legends
Discovery Life's HUNTERS and HUNTED Video:
BBC film crew stayed with us, and filmed exclusively at Hallo Bay. All brown bears are Hallo Bay Legends
"We will strive to protect and preserve this beautiful and wildlife rich wilderness area we are entrusted with. Thus armed with the tools of education and knowledge we will venture into the realm of the Great Bear, what was and what must continue to be surely, one of the last great cornerstones of this planet."
Sharing a vision, we have designed and created an exclusive wilderness
camp that has come to be described as one of the top three wildlife
destinations in the world - and a model educational platform as to how man can
coexist with limited impact on wildlife and its habitat.
No crowds or neighbors found here, real home style cooking and comfortable heated cabins. We are located in the largest natural concentration of brown (grizzly) bears in Alaska, and rated by the BBC Natural History Unit as one of the top 3 destinations in the world to observe wildlife in a natural setting. We offer between 2 and 7 night stays at our remote property. Tours include meals, lodging, and naturalist guides. Short on time? Take a day trip to see the bears from Homer. We have 26 years of bear viewing/guiding experience. Visit Us: MAY 15 to October 15 Guests Comments
ALASKA: a fascinating journey of wilderness and wildlife - truly a last frontier and home to the Legends of Hallo Bay. •Alaska State Symbols
•Alaska Historical Society
•Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race
•WildlifeSpecies by ADF&G