Flamingos pair for a lifetime. Some stay with their mates for
50 years or more.
The chicks of large bird species often take the longest to
hatch. Emu chicks, for example, take 60 days to hatch. Small
songbirds take just 2 weeks.
A green woodpecker can eat as many as 2,000 ants per day.
The Japanese crested ibis is one of the rarest birds in the
world. Probably fewer than 50 crested ibises are alive today.
The 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska polluted
approximately 1,180 miles of coastline and killed up to 100,000
Falconry was developed more than 4,000 years ago in eastern
and central Asia. Birds were used because they could kill
animals beyond the range of a hunter’s weapon. Genghis Khan
reportedly had 10,000 falconers.
Coalminers often used canaries to detect poisonous levels of
carbon monoxide gas. Miners knew that if the canary passed out,
they were in danger, too. The phrase “Canary in a Coalmine”
derives from this history.
The marsh warbler can mimic more than 80 different birds.
Other renowned mimics include mockingbirds and lyrebirds.
A pelican’s pouch-like beak can hold up to 2.5 gallons of
water at a time. The beak will shrink to squeeze out the water
before the pelican swallows its food.
A vulture named the Lammergeyer will fly with bones high in
the air and then drop them onto rocks. It will then eat the
smashed bones, like a circus sword swallower.
1 cup milk (or nut milk).
1/2 vanilla bean, split.
3 ounces semisweet or milk chocolate, cut into small pieces.
Heat milk to scalding in a medium saucepan, add vanilla, and
let steep with the heat off for 10 minutes. Strain and return milk
to saucepan to reheat milk. (You can use 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
extract instead and skip the steeping process.) Whisk in chocolate
until melted and frothy. Serve, savor.
Ursus maritimus. Sea Bear. Ice Bear. Nanuk. Isbjorn. White bear. Beliy medved. Lord of the Arctic. Old man in the fur cloak. White sea deer. These are just some of the names for polar bears.
Ursus maritimus is the scientific name. It means sea bear. Commander C.J. Phipps, an office in the British navy and author of A Voyage towards the North Pole used it for the first time in 1774.
Later, the scientific name Thalarctos gained acceptance. It is a combination of the Greek thalasso, meaning sea, and arctos, meaning bear of the north.
In 1971, polar bear scientists returned to the bear's original scientific name, Ursus maritimus.
To the Inuit, the polar bear is Nanuk, an animal worthy of great respect. In their poetry he is Pihoqahiak, the ever-wandering one.
The Russian term for polar bear is beliy medved, the white bear.
In Norway and Denmark, the polar bear is isbjorn, the ice bear.
Norse poets described the polar bear as white sea deer, the seal's dread, the rider of icebergs, the whale's bane, and the sailor of the floe. They praised polar bears for having the strength of 12 men and the wit of 11.
In eastern Greenland, the polar bear is known as Tornassuk, the master of helping spirits.
Sami (or Lapp) people refuse to speak the polar bear's real name for fear of offending him. Instead they call him God's dog or old man in the fur cloak.
Nineteenth-century whalers referred to the polar bear as the farmer because of his slow, pigeon-toed gait.
The Ket, a Siberian tribe, revere all bears. They call them gyp, grandfather, or qoi, stepfather.
Nearly one-third of Alaska lies within the Arctic Circle.
The Alaska Highway was originally built as a military supply
road during World War II.
The state boasts the lowest population density in the nation.
The discovery of gold in the Yukon began a gold rush in 1898.
Later gold was discovered at Nome and Fairbanks.
Alaska is a geographical marvel. When a scale map of Alaska is
superimposed on a map of the 48 lower states, Alaska extends
from coast to coast.
The state's coastline extends over 6,600 miles.
Alaska is the United State's largest state and is over twice
the size of Texas. Measuring from north to south the state is
approximately 1,400 miles long and measuring from east to west
it is 2,700 miles wide.
Agattu, Attu, and Kiska are the only parts of North America
occupied by Japanese troops during World War II.
Oil is the state's most valuable natural resource. The area
includes what is thought to be the largest oil field in North
Wolves are members of the family Canidae. Early taxonomists
recognized about 24 New World and eight Old World subspecies
of Canis lupus, with four subspecies thought to
occur in Alaska. Recent studies of skull characteristics, body
size, and color suggest that differences are slight with
considerable overlap in the characteristics of wolves from
various areas. Only two Alaska subspecies are now recognized.
Wolves in Southeast Alaska tend to be darker and somewhat
smaller than those in northern parts of the state. The pelt
color of Alaska wolves ranges from black to nearly white, with
every shade of gray and tan in between. Gray or black wolves
are most common, and the relative abundance of each color
phase varies over time and from place to place.
Most adult male wolves in Interior Alaska weigh from 85 to
115 pounds (38.6-52.3), but they occasionally reach 145 pounds
(65.3 kg). Females average 10 to 15 pounds (2-5 kg) lighter
than males and rarely weigh more than 110 pounds (50 kg).
Wolves reach adult size by about 1 year of age.
Mr. H is not just any stuffed toy; he has a story to tell. "Don't
give up when something goes wrong in your life. Work hard and you
can overcome most obstacles." "I take him wherever I go. I tell
everyone that when they touch him some of the inspiration that I get
from him will rub off on them."
Active, acrobatic and agile with a perky cheerful air, the
chickadee is one of the most widely recognized birds in Alaska
forests. The black-capped chickadee is one of four chickadee
species that occurs in the state and has a black cap and bib,
white cheeks, soft gray back, wing feathers gray edged with
white, and soft buffy-colored underparts grading to white in
the center. Its song is often a 2 or 3 note whistle that
sounds like "Hey, sweetie." Look and listen for
their flocks in forest habitat, residential neighborhoods and
Territorial during the breeding season, chickadees flock
during the rest of the year. Small flocks made up of several
adult pairs and unrelated juveniles are commonly seen from
late summer through winter. Flocks of chickadees sometimes
cross paths with kinglets, creepers, nuthatches and downy
woodpeckers and form temporary associations.
Chickadees are specially adapted to endure Alaska's rugged
winters. They have much denser, better-insulating plumage than
other songbirds their size and a special ability to put on fat
quickly. Birds burn fat as fuel to keep themselves warm in
winter. A chickadee can put on eight percent of their body
weight in fat each day. Chickadees are also able to drop their
body temperature at night in order to conserve their winter
Known as moose across North America, but called elk in
Europe, Alces alces is the largest member of the deer family.
The Alaska-Yukon race (Alces alces gigas) is the largest of
all of these creatures. Adult moose can range in size from 800
pounds (small adult female) to1,600 pounds (large adult male),
and they can be up to almost 6 feet tall. Moose can range in
color from golden brown to almost black, depending on the
season and the age of the animal. Newborn calves have a
red-brown coat that fades to a light rust color within a few
weeks. By late summer, the calves have shed this coat and
grown one that is similar in texture and color to that of
Moose are often easily recognized by their antlers, carried
only by the males. These bony protrusions form within the
first year, and are produced every summer after that. Trophy
class bulls are found throughout Alaska, but the largest come
from the western portion of the state. The largest sized
antlers are usually produced when bulls are 10 - 12 years old,
but bulls can reach trophy size as young as 6 years of age. In
the wild, moose rarely live more than 16 years.
The shape of a bear’s claw differs according to the type of
bear. Bears that climb, such as black bears, have claws that are
curved and strong to allow them to claw at tree bark. Bears that
dig, such as grizzly bears, have straight and long claws.
Koala bears are not bears at all and are not related to the
bear family. They are marsupials.
A bear’s normal heartbeat is 40 beats per minute. A
hibernating bear’s heart rate drops to 8 bpm.
Because bears can walk short distances on their hind legs,
some Native Americans called them “the beast that walks like a
The bear that a person living in North America is most likely
to run into is the black bear. They live in wooded areas in
every Canadian province, many U.S. states, and parts of Mexico.
Black bears are not always black. They come in a rainbow of
colors from black to reddish brown (cinnamon bears) to light
brown to white.
Unlike many mammals, bears can see in color.
The world’s most common bear is the brown bear.
When bears mate, the eggs within the female’s body are
fertilized but do not implant in her uterus and begin developing
for several months.
A swimming polar bear can jump 8 ft. (2.4 m) out of the water
to surprise a seal.
"Michael Pollan likens consumer choices to pulling single threads
out of a garment. We pull a thread from the garment when we refuse
to purchase eggs or meat from birds who were raised in confinement,
whose beaks were clipped so they could never once taste their
natural diet of worms and insects. We pull out a thread when we
refuse to bring home a hormone-fattened turkey for Thanksgiving
dinner. We pull a thread when we refuse to buy meat or dairy
products from cows who were never allowed to chew grass, or breathe
fresh air, or feel the warm sun on their backs."
The holiday season is here. While everyone is out shopping for the Christmas season, pick up a small teddy bear, or find a gently used one from your home and donate it to your local Women's and children's shelters. There are so many children that are not enjoying this time of season as all the other children are and your teddy bear donation can put a smile on their faces.
So find where you local safe haven shelters are for abused kids and make your teddy bear donation today.
Owls cannot swivel their eyes. Instead they move their heads
completely around to see straight behind them. They live on
every continent except Antarctica. Soft fringes on their wings
make their flight essentially silent.
In the continental U.S. alone, between 1.4 billion and 3.7
billion birds are killed by cats annually.
Famous birds include Ba in Egyptian mythology, Bar Juchne in
the Talmud, The Cu Bird in Mexican folklore, the
Firebird in Native American mythologies, Harpies in Greek
mythology, the Phoenix in Egyptian mythology, Quetzalcoatl in
Aztec mythology, and the Raven in Native American religions.
Famous birds in literature include the Albatross in The
Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Archimedes in The Once
and Future King, Chicken Little, Chanticleer in Chaucer’s
Nun’s Priest’s Tale, Fawkes and Hedwig in Harry
Potter, Mother Goose, the Raven in Edgar Allen Poe’s “The
Raven,” Owl in Winnie the Pooh, Thorondor (the king of
eagles) in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, and The
Famous birds in cartoons, comics, and films include Big Bird
in Sesame Street, Buzz Buzzard in Woody
Woodpecker, Disney’s Darkwing Duck, Footloops cereal’s
Toucan Sam, Woodstock in the Peanuts comic strip, Woody
Woodpecker, and Iago in Aladdin.
The bird with the most feathers is the whistling swan, with up
to 25,000 feathers. Hummingbirds, on the other hand, are so
small that they have fewer than 1,000.
The only bird with nostrils at the end of its beak is the
kiwi. This placement helps it sniff for food, such as worms and
insects on the ground. It often snorts to clear its nostrils.
Unlike most birds that sing, a woodpecker will drum its beak
against a tree. Other woodpeckers can identify which bird it is
by the sound of the drumming.
The most talkative bird in the world is the African gray
parrot. One parrot could say over 800 words. Most species of
parrots can learn only 50.
Many birds, such as starlings, sing notes too high for humans
Red sea urchins, Strongylocentrotus franciscanus,
belong to the Phylum Echinodermata and class Echinoidea. This
phylum also includes sea cucumbers and sand dollars, one of
their common traits is their radial symmetry. They vary in
color between a uniform red and dark burgundy and crawl slowly
over the sea bottom using their spines as stilts.
The red sea urchin is the largest of the sea urchins, with a
maximum "test", or outer skeleton, diameter of more than 18 cm
and a maximum spine length of 8 cm. The test is made up of 10
fused plates that encircle the sea urchin like the slices of
an orange. Every other section has holes through which the sea
urchin can extend its tubed feet. These feet are controlled by
a water vascular system. By changing the amount of water
inside, the animal can extend or contract the feet. The tip of
the tube foot is shaped so it can act like a suction disc.
Spines can also be used for locomotion.
Reproduction occurs between March and September in
Southeast Alaska. Urchins are broadcast spawners with
external fertilization and aggregate during spawning.
Female urchins may produce 100,000 to 2,000,000 eggs into
the sea where they are fertilized. After fertilization,
they develop into a morula and eventually become 8-armed
echinopluteus larvae which are herbivorous, feeding on
phytoplankton. After the larvae stage, they develop into
juveniles and eventually settle onto the substrate. After
settling, a rapid metamorphosis occurs including
development of spines and tube feet and then internal
organs form similar to an adult sea urchin. They seem to
reproduce best when in dense aggregations.
Small urchins (less than 5 cm test diameter) often hide
under the adults. Adult urchins can release a chemical cue
that causes the young to aggregate underneath them when
the adults detect the presence of certain kinds of
starfish. Some research suggests that urchins can live
over 100 years, and found some near Vancouver Island that
may be 200 years old.
Field studies of annual growth rates in Southeast Alaska
indicate an annual growth increment between 0 and 20 mm.
Growth rate is generally greatest among urchins between 20
and 40 millimeters, with large variation among locations
and years. Slower growth occurs in areas exposed to open
ocean conditions. By age ten urchins have almost stopped
growing in diameter and growth slows considerably.
The largest mammalian carnivore that ever lived on land was
the giant short-faced bear. Twice the size of the biggest modern
bear, it was 6' 5" tall at the shoulder when standing on all
fours. Scientists believe it had very long legs and chased
antelope on the North American prairies. It died around 12,000
The sloth bear has the shaggiest fur. The sun bear has the
shortest fur so it can keep cool in the hot forests of Southeast
The most accurate way to determine the age of a bear is to
count the rings in a cross section of its tooth root under a
Bears have two layers of fur. A short layer of fur keeps the
bear warm. And a long layer keeps water away from the skin and
Bears are highly intelligent animals
Bears are very smart and have been known to roll rocks into
bear traps to set off the trap and eat the bait in safety.
Bears live as long as 30 years in the wild. One captive brown
bear lived to the age of 47.
Bears are bowlegged. This gives them better grip and balance.
Only the polar bear is a true carnivore. All other bears are
omnivores, or animals that eat both plants and meat.
Sun bears have the longest claws of any bear. They also have
the longest tongues, which can reach 9.8" long.
Bears can run up to 40 miles per hour, fast enough to catch a
running horse. The fastest known human alive today is Usain
Bolt, who can run 27mph.
The North American river otter is a thickset mammal with
short legs, a neck no smaller than its head, inconspicuous
ears, and a muscular body that is broadest at the hips. Its
tail is powerful and a little more than a third as long as its
head and body. Only the hind feet are webbed. Adults weigh 15
to 35 pounds (6.8–15 kg) and are 40 to 60 inches (102–152 cm)
in length. On the average, females are about 25 percent
smaller than males.
It is sometimes called the land otter (to distinguish from
the sea otter).
When prime, river otter fur appears black-brown, with the
belly slightly lighter in color than its back. The chin and
throat are grayish. Otter fur consists of a very dense
undercoat overlaid with longer guard hairs, which are usually
removed by furriers.
River otters appear to have well-developed senses of smell
and hearing. Their vision is not especially good but may be
better underwater than above. Several sets of strong whiskers
are used by the animal for hunting and avoiding obstructions.
"The greatest danger to our future is apathy.
Every individual matters and has a role to play in this life on
Only if we understand can we care. Only if we care will we help.
Only if we help shall all be saved."
Wolf gestation is around 65 days. Wolf pups are born both deaf
and blind and weigh only one pound.
Under certain conditions, wolves can hear as far as six miles
away in the forest and ten miles on the open tundra.
Wolves were once the most widely distributed land predator the
world has ever seen. The only places they didn’t thrive were in
the true desert and rainforests.
Among true wolves, two species are recognized: Canis
lupus (often known simply as “gray wolves”),
which includes 38 subspecies, such as the gray, timber, arctic,
tundra, lobos, and buffalo wolves. The other recognized species
is the red wolf (Canis rufus), which are smaller and
have longer legs and shorter fur than their relatives. Many
scientists debate whether Canis rufus is a separate
Immense power is concentrated in a wolf’s jaw. It has a
crushing pressure of nearly 1,500 pound per square inch
(compared with around 750 for a large dog). The jaws themselves
are massive, bearing 42 teeth specialized for stabbing,
shearing, and crunching bones. Their jaws also open farther than
those of a dog.
The North American gray wolf population in 1600 was 2 million.
Today the population in North America is approximately 65,000.
The world population is approximately 150,000.
A hungry wolf can eat 20 pounds of meat in a single meal,
which is akin to a human eating one hundred hamburgers.
A wolf pack may contain just two or three animals, or it may
be 10 times as large.
Though many females in a pack are able to have pups, only a
few will actually mate and bear pups. Often, only the alpha
female and male will mate, which serves to produce the strongest
cubs and helps limit the number of cubs the pack must care for.
The other females will help raise and “babysit” the cubs.
Lower-ranking males do not mate and often suffer from a
condition of stress and inhibition that has been referred to as
“psychological castration.” Lower-ranking females are sometimes
so afraid of the alpha female that they do not even go into
There are over 9,500 species of birds in the world. Scientists
typically group them into 30 categories. Birds are the most
widespread of all animals around the world.
Characteristics that are unique to birds are 1) feathers, 2)
bills, and 3) a furcula (fused collarbone, or “wishbone”).
Approximately 2/3 of all the bird species are found in
tropical rain forests.
Hoatzin chicks have two claws on each wing. When they climb
out of the nest, they use their claws to hold on to mangrove
trees. They lose their claws once they mature, but they remain
Many birds consume 1/5 of their body weight in food every day
to get the energy they need to fly.
The longest feathers ever seen were on a chicken in Japan. Its
tail feathers measured 34.7 feet (10.59 m) long.
To make them more lightweight, most birds do not have bladders
to store urine.
Rather than producing liquid urine to get rid of wastes, they
produce a white, pasty substance. However, while an ostrich does
not have a bladder like a mammalian bladder, it is unique among
birds because it does have a complete separation of feces and
A bird’s lungs are much more complicated and efficient and
take up more space than those of mammals, such as humans. A
human’s lungs compose about 1/20 of its body, but a bird’s takes
The Australian pelican has the longest bill of any bird in the
world. It is nearly 2 feet (0.5 m) in length. The sword-billed
hummingbird, with its 3.9-inch (10 cm) bill, is the only bird
with a bill that’s longer than its body.
The song of a European wren is made of more than 700 different
notes a minute and can be heard 1,650 feet (500 m) away.
The lynx is a large, short-tailed cat, similar to the
bobcat, but distinguished by its long legs, furry feet, the
long tufts on the tip of each ear, and a black-tipped tail.
The large broad feet function as snowshoes to aid the lynx in
winter hunting and traveling. The dense soft fur is buffy grey
with indistinct spotting. Most adults weigh from 18 to 30
pounds (8.2–13.6 kg). Male lynx are generally larger than
females and occasionally weigh 40 pounds (18.2 kg) or more.
Mating occurs in March and early April and kittens are
born about 63 days later under a natural shelter such as a
spruce felled by wind, a rock ledge, or a log jam. Lynx
kittens resemble domestic cats at birth and are buff
colored with longitudinal streaking on their backs. Their
eyes open about 1 month of age, and they are weaned when
2–3 months old. Most litters include two to four kittens,
but sometimes as many as six are born and survive.
The production and survival of lynx kittens is strongly
influenced by cyclic changes in snowshoe hare and other
small game populations. When prey are abundant, a high
percentage of 1-year old or older female lynx produce
kittens, most of which survive. When prey is scarce, very
few yearlings breed, the number of breeding adults
declines, and very few kittens survive until winter.
Kittens remain with their mother until late winter and
acquire the hunting skills and knowledge necessary for
their survival. During the following breeding season,
family units begin to break up.
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