A Great Trip Needs An Extraordinary Destination ...Hallo Bay? ABSOLUTELY

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Wolves

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 movement.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Chum Salmon

Chum salmon, also known as dog salmon, are the most widely distributed of all the Pacific salmon and generally occur throughout Alaska. Like most other Pacific salmon species, chum salmon spend most of their life feeding in saltwater, then return to freshwater when mature to spawn once in the fall then die. Most chum salmon populations do not travel far upstream to spawn; however, some travel up to 2,000 miles upstream to the headwaters of the Yukon River. Although generally regarded as one of the less desirable species of salmon, in Arctic, Northwestern, and Interior Alaska, chum salmon are highly prized as a traditional source of dried winter food. Since the 1980s, commercial chum salmon harvests in Alaska have more than doubled as a result of the Alaska hatchery program and increased foreign sales.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Ravens in Alaska

Ravens are excellent fliers, engaging in aerial acrobatics and sometimes soaring to great heights. Flight is often an alternation of wing flapping and gliding and is deceptively fast, as ravens move quickly with seemingly slow wing beats. In courtship flights ravens fly with wingtips touching, and repeatedly dive and tumble together.
There is no mistaking the raucous call of the raven; the deep, resonant “kaw” or “prruk prruk prruk” is its trademark. However, the raven can produce an amazing assortment of sounds: mews, whistles, high-pitched cries, “glooks,” and dripping water sounds. One study in Alaska showed ravens have more than 30 distinct vocalizations.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Tin Man Lee

Wonderful photographs taken at Hallo Bay Bear Camp
by an amazing photographer Tin Man Lee


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Wolf facts

  1. In the Harry Potter universe, werewolf Remus Lupin’s name is directly related to the Latin word for wolf (lupus) and suggests an association with one of the founders of Rome, Remus, who was suckled by a wolf. The dual nature of Lupin’s werewolf nature suggests that in the Potter realm, there are two sides to everything.
  2. The last wolf in Yellowstone Park was killed in 1926. In 1995, wolves were reintroduced and, after just ten years, approximately 136 wolves now roam the Park in about 13 wolf packs.
  3. Currently, there are about 50,000 wolves in Canada; 6,500 in Alaska; and 3,500 in the Lower 48 States. In Europe, Italy has fewer than 300; Spain around 2,000; and Norway and Sweden combined have fewer than 80. There are about 700 wolves in Poland and 70,000 in Russia.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Ermine in Alaska

Ermine are adapted to a wide variety of habitats. It prefers wooded areas with thick understory near watercourses, and often occupies early-successional or forest-edge habitats, wet meadows, marshes, ditches, riparian woodlands, or river banks with high densities of small mammals and adequate subnivean foraging space. Coastal ermine may exhibit a preference for low elevation riparian and marine shoreline and estuarine habitats. They are well-adapted to snowy environments and range into alpine areas. They have been documented year-round living at 2,000–3,000 ft in the Sierra Nevada, California and also successfully inhabit tundra habitats throughout northern Canada and Alaska.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Bird Facts

  1. Birds play a central role in many creation myths. Birds are also often associated with the journey of the soul after death or as mediators between the dead and living. They can also appear as oracles or tricksters.
  2. The game Angry Birds has sold more than 7 million copies on Apple’s iPhone. The game was made by a team of just four people. It was such a low priority for the company that it took over 8 months to finish.
  3. Wind farms kill approximately a half-million birds per year in the United States, according to a 2008 Fish and Wildlife study. Nearly 10,000 birds, almost all of which are protected by the migratory bird acts, are killed every year at the wind farm in Altamont Pass, CA, alone.
  4. Approximately 200 people have died since 1988 because of airborne collision between airplanes and birds. Bird strikes cause $300 million of damage each year to aircraft. The first recorded bird strike was in 1905, when Orville Wright’s plane hit a bird and killed it.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Leave No Trace Camping and Hiking

1. Trash your Trash
Put litter—even crumbs, peels and cores— in garbage bags and carry it home or throw it in trash receptacles. Extra food, even apple cores and banana peels can do great damage to wildlife. Did you know it takes up to two years for orange or banana peels to decompose in nature; more than 10 years for plastic bags and more than 80 years for aluminum cans to decompose?
2. Dog Dogma
Use a plastic bag to pack out your dog’s poop to a garbage can. Dog waste can be harmful to the natural environment and can cause the spread of invasive species.
3. Take Only Pictures. Leave Only Footprints
According to U.S. state and national park services, Americans logged 1.6 billion visits to national and state park lands last year. If we all took a memento from nature during those visits, the landscape would change. Fill the memory card on your camera rather than your pockets and leave nature as you found it for others to enjoy.
4. Keep Wildlife Wild
Human food is unhealthy for all wildlife and feeding them can have unfortunate consequences such as drawing them to people and roads and making them sick.
5. Refuse the Makeover
No need for a major remodel of nature. Bring your own lightweight camp or picnic furniture and conveniences such as camp gas stoves, sleeping pads, chairs and lanterns. When you leave, it should look as though you were never there.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Alaska Brown Bears

Brown and grizzly bears are classified as the same species even though there are notable differences between them. Kodiak bears (brown bears from the Kodiak Archipelago) are classified as a distinct subspecies (U. a. middendorffi) from those on the mainland (U. a. horribilis) because they have been isolated from other bears since the last ice age about 12,000 years ago. “Brown bears” typically live along the southern coast of the state where they have access to seasonally abundant spawning salmon. The coastal areas also provide a rich array of vegetation they can use as food as well as a milder climate. This allows them to grow larger and live in higher densities than their “grizzly” cousins in the northern and interior parts of the state.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Black Capped Chickadee

  • Size
    4.7–5.9 inches, .3–.5 oz
  • Range/Distribution
    Deciduous and mixed forests across the north-central US and up into Interior Alaska.
  • Diet
    Insects and seed.
  • Predators
    Very few but known nest predators include red squirrel and black bear.
  • Reproduction
    Single clutch per year with 1 to 13 eggs 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Fox

  • Size
    Weight: 6–15 lbs
    Body Length: 22–32 inches
    Tail Length: 14–16 inches
  • Lifespan
    3 years
  • Range/Distribution
    It is found throughout Alaska, except for some of the islands of Southeast Alaska and the western Aleutians and is rare in Prince William Sound.
  • Diet
    Omnivorous; eats muskrats, squirrels, hares, birds, eggs, insects, vegetation, carrion, voles.
  • Predators
    Wolves, coyotes, eagles, bears, mountain lions, lynx, humans.
  • Reproduction
    Breed once per year in February and March. Females give birth to litters ranging from 1–10 pups after a 51–54 day gestation period.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wolf Info

  1. Between 6,000 and 7,000 wolf skins are still traded across the world each year. The skins are supplied mainly by Russia, Mongolia, and China and are used mainly for coats.
  2. In India, simple wolf traps are still used. These traps consist of a simple pit, disguised with branches or leaves. The wolves fall in and people then stone them to death.
  3. Wolves were the first animals to be placed on the U.S. Endangered Species Act list in 1973.
  4. John Milton’s famous poem “Lycidas” derives its title from the Greek for “wolf cub,” lykideus.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Ermine

Ermine are carnivores that consume mainly small mammals, especially voles (Microtus spp., Clethrionomys spp.) and mice (Peromyscus spp). Shrews and rabbits may also be taken and occasionally other small vertebrates and insects. Ermine foraging strategies are particularly well-adapted to northern environments where prolonged snow cover gives small predators, able to access under-snow tunnels, a competitive advantage, and where voles are the most abundant prey species. On Kodiak Island, Alaska, resident tundra voles (Microtus oeconomus) provide the bulk of ermine food supply, although these ermines have also been observed taking fish from a river.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Eagles

Accounts of eagles carrying off dogs and cats are unsubstantiated and highly unlikely. An eagle can lift about three or four pounds, more if it swoops down. Bald eagles are strong aggressive birds but like everything that flies, they are governed by aerodynamics. The wings of an eagle need to support the 8 to 12-pound bird as well as whatever the bird is carrying and best estimates put the lifting power of an eagle at about 4 pounds. That varies, however, depending on the circumstances. Lift is dependent on air speed as well as wing size. The faster a bird (or airplane) is flying, the greater the lift potential. An eagle that lands on the beach to grab a fish and take off is limited to a smaller load than an eagle that swoops down at 20 or 30 miles an hour and snatches up a fish. Momentum and speed give the bird the ability to carry more weight.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Beaver

If the habitat does not have the necessary water level, beavers construct dams. Each dam is a little different. A beaver may work alone or with family members to build a dam, using piled logs and trees secured with mud, masses of plants, rocks, and sticks. Although the average tree used for construction of a dam is 4 to 12 inches (10–30 cm) across the stump, use of trees up to 150 feet (45 m) tall and 5 feet (115 cm) across have been recorded. As the tree snaps, the beaver runs! Very large trees are not moved but the bark is stripped off and eaten. Smaller trees are cut into moveable pieces, dragged into the water for repairing dams and lodges. This work is done mainly in spring and autumn.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Ptarmigan

Families of willow ptarmigan join to form flocks in September. The ptarmigan then begin to move around more than in the nesting season. Females and males tend to separate in late September and October; the females, usually in small groups, seek food and shelter at lower elevations. In most parts of Alaska these movements to and from summer ranges encompass only a few miles. Hens that nest or were reared on the north slope of the Brooks Range move up to 100 miles southward in late fall, wintering on the south side of the Brooks Range in the low hills and wooded valleys north of the Yukon River in the east, or in the valleys of the Noatak and Kobuk Rivers to the west. Males of these same populations also largely abandon summer ranges, but do not go as far south as the females. The south-tending migrations take place in October and November. The northward movements begin in February, reach a peak in April, and are finished by mid-May.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Wonderful Wolves

Wolves are skilled and ferocious hunters, but when it it comes to relationships, they're real softies. When a playmate or partner leaves the pack, the wolves that are left behind will howl and howl and howl.

In a new study, researchers report that wolves will give their leaders and their closest allies a longer and stronger serenade if they leave. Those howls could be sonic breadcrumbs, meant to help a lone wolf find its way back to the pack.