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

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


  • 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 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


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


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


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.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Bear Spirit Names

In many cultures, the bear was looked upon with such reverence that members of the culture were not allowed to speak the word for "bear ". Instead, they referred to the animal with varied and creative euphemisms. These euphemisms are related here. The general catagory refers to names that were wide-spread through several native American groups. Many cultures found a spiritual kinship with the bears, and speaking the name of the animal would bring swift retribution from the gods.
  • Famous Lightfoot (Finn)
  • Fine Young Chief (Navajo)
  • Food of the Fire (Cree)
  • Golden Friend (Finn)
  • Golden King (nA)
  • Gold Friend of Fen and Forest (Ural Altaic)
  • Good-tempered Beast (Cree)
  • Great Man (Siberian)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Fun Bird Facts

  1. To attract a mate, a male Frigate bird will blow up its red throat pouch. The pouch can be as big as a person’s head.
  2. Over time, a surprising number of birds have lost their ability to fly. Being flightless has several advantages. For example, a flightless bird doesn’t need to develop and carry large flight muscles or burn up the energy that flying requires. A flightless bird can also get by with less food, which means it can survive in places where food is scarce.
  3. Depending on the species, a woodpecker’s tongue can be up to 4" long. It stores this long tongue by curling it in and sticking it through a specialized opening at the back of its neck, where it can then put it between the skull and skin.
  4. The seagulls in the Alfred Hitchcock movie The Birds (1963) were fed a mixture of wheat and whisky so they would stand around and not fly too much.
  5. In the movie The Birds (1963), the scene where actress Tippi Hedren is attacked took a week to shoot. The birds were attached to her clothes by long nylon threads so they could not fly away.

Monday, June 9, 2014


The red fox is omnivorous. Although it might eat muskrats, squirrels, hares, birds, eggs, insects, vegetation, and carrion, voles seem to be its preferred food. Foxes cache excess food when the hunting is good. They return to these storage sites and have been observed digging up a cache, inspecting it, and reburying it in the same spot. Apparently, they want to be sure that their food is still there.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

River Otter

River otters in Alaska hunt on land and in fresh and salt water eating snails, mussels, clams, sea urchins, insects, crabs, shrimp, octopi, frogs, a variety of fish, and occasionally birds, mammals, and vegetable matter. Aquatic organisms no bigger than a man's finger are usually eaten at the surface of the water, while larger food is taken ashore.

If a fish or other animal is too big to be eaten at one meal, the remains are abandoned and become available to other flesh-eating mammals and birds. Scraps left out of the water may be a significant source of food available to some scavengers when snow and ice are present.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Bear Facts

  1. Baloo, from The Jungle Book, is a sloth bear.
  2. Most bears have 42 teeth, which is about 10 more than people have. A bear’s canines can reach 1.5" long, while a human’s are less than a half inch long.
  3. The giant panda has been described as a living fossil because it is such an ancient animal.
  4. Polar bears are the largest land predators on earth. They can stand more than 11' high and weigh more than 1,700 lbs.
  5. Black bears are typically smaller than grizzly bears, have a smaller shoulder hump, less shaggy fur, longer ears, and a less concave facial profile. Black bear claws are also smaller and more curved to better climb trees. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014


The willow ptarmigan has an appropriate name. Not only are willows important nesting habitat, they are also the bird’s most important food source. The leaves of willow shrubs often outrank any other item eaten in summer. In winter the buds, twigs, and catkins of willows provide four-fifths or more of their food. Because moose and snowshoe hare also rely on willows for sustenance, it is fortunate that these shrubs are so widespread in Alaska, and are able to rapidly recover from severe browsing.
As with the other ptarmigan species, willow ptarmigan feed on berries in the fall and also eat overwintered berries in the spring.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Bald Eagles

The bald eagle’s main diet is fish. Herring, flounder, pollock, and salmon are taken along the coast, while the Interior populations prey heavily upon salmon. Eagles also prey upon waterfowl, small mammals, sea urchins, clams, crabs, and carrion. Bald eagles are sometimes seen swimming, laboriously “rowing” with their wings. Eagles have thick down and float pretty well. It’s a common misconception that eagles cannot let go of their prey: the talons’ grasp is purely voluntary. An eagle will sometimes grab a fish that’s too heavy to lift and will chose to swim, towing the meal to shore, rather than lose it.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Alaska Voles

Red-backed voles are omnivorous and will eat grass, seeds, fruit, lichens, fungi, insects and meat. If a vole is caught in a trap, others will feed upon the trapped vole. Both the Microtus and red-backed voles form the base of the food chain for many animals in Alaska. They are the staple foods of weasels, marten, foxes, coyotes, all owls, most hawks, inland breeding gulls, jaegers, and occasionally great blue herons, domestic cats, northern pike, and other voles.