Welcome to the Island Rambles Blog

Welcome to my blog world. This is a photo blog, poetry and short story blog about my life on Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada. I take photos of the birds and scenery I find. I hope you enjoy your time here and please come back again. PHOTOS WILL ENLARGE IF CLICKED. The photos are slide show enabled if you click on them. If you click on the top lighthouse photo it always takes you to the most recent summary list of my postings. I am also at my Facebook Page Island Rambles or Islandrambles at YouTube.


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Sunday, October 14, 2012

North American Bears and Birds

North American Black Bear:
Close encounter with black bears....or we can call them North American Black Bears.....to combine with ABC Wednesday and the letter "n".  I got some great shots on the Quinsam River near Campbell River, B.C. when we were away on our recent trips. I hope we will still be travelling when this is published.

This is the big bear at the Quinsam River, Quinsam Hatchery. These pictures are taken while the bear stuffed himself with pink salmon right at the weir. I was lucky everyone had left when he came out.
 He smiled at me....I thought he did so I took more photos.  This bear was really smart, he had figured out that he could just go to the weir and the fishing was easy there, it made him smile like this.
He was picky, he would just eat the fish eggs from the females and he threw the male fish back in.  He was fat also, very well fed.  There was a great abundance of fish this year, so much that the river could not take them all.
He kept shaking his head when he got water on his ears I guess.
The gate was closing and my husband had left to get the truck out before the road was closed.  He said you have five minutes to stay here before we get locked in and he left to go to the truck as it was far away.  I was not about to leave when I had such a big bear. Did not want to spend the night locked in with the bear though. What to do!
 I was a little nervous when the bear came right close to me as it was my first time on a close photo shoot with bears and all by myself.  I stayed a bit longer and then ran to the truck.  There is a fine line between being stupid around wildlife and getting the shot.
These two pictures below are not cropped, actual distance from bear..the next day, after so much experience with bears, I decided to walk alone along the river while hubby had coffee in the truck.  I somehow felt safe.  I walked for a long time along a river with the bear beside me on the same side of the river.  He did not care.  A few times he looked at me.  I always backed slowly away.  I never felt he was angry, if I did I would have left. There were sometimes a few bushes between us.  There was a lot of fresh bear scat too.
Not cropped. He was mostly interested in eating the fish. He was so beautiful, powerful and free.  He was in his element, with the river and the fish.  And I found out that bears can move extremely fast, they can cover a lot of territory faster than anything.
Sometimes he started to come towards me too much. Could be a bluff. I'd rather not test him though.  He is one of the largest bears.  And he was not afraid of me, it was his territory. He was tolerant of me if I kept a distance away. I think he patrolled the river each day and did not let other bears come in.
Smaller bear along the roadway above here and big bear below.  I have a lot of bear videos but have not got them edited....will put them in later.
Big Big bear.   I am in love with bears now.  They are very exciting.

We did have a little scare one day at the river.  We were crossing a very low bridge unaware that the bear was below and beside the bridge.  My husband crossed over then looked back at me and made a quick return and some quiet pointing below.  I did not see anything.  So I moved right to the edge and then saw two lovely round big ears at my feet a few inches away. I did not compute it. Could not process it.  At the same time I heard it.  You never want to hear the sound a bear makes when you are too close.  They do not growl.  They make the most horrible lip smacking breathing really really loud. I did not get the picture. I left.  That was too close for comfort.

Northern Birds:  I am doing this in two parts with the birds at the bottom for the bird memes.  Here we have a Nuthatch making his nest hole.

 This little Nuthatch lives in my backyard and is spoiled.

 They bring many babies here to show them where the food is. 

 I put out a feeder log in the winter with a special recipe of fat, cornmeal,  and rolled oats, they like it. Can give the recipe if you want.
This is the Northern Flicker that landed just below my dining room window..pretty good shot through the glass window.
 I think he sees me now.
Then there is the Northern Pintail.....lovely little duck.

 I think they looked like they are all dressed up in a fancy suit of some kind ready to go to a party.

Then below is the Northern Shoveler....one of the most beautiful ducks, but very very shy.  This is the best shot I could get of them as they feed with their large bills in the water constantly.

 Oh and a little more of the Pintails...so pretty.

Thanks so much for your comments....we probably will still be travelling but I will try to reply to all comments.  I really enjoy your comments ...please try to leave me a note then I can see your blog also.

Thank you to these memes for allowing bloggers to share their story.  I may not remember to enter them all but I still list them as this is the quick way for me to do it.

The Bird D'pot
Our World Tuesday
Sweet Shot Tuesday
Tuesday Tweets
ABC Wednesday
Nature Notes Wednesday
Outdoors Wednesday
Wild Bird Wednesday

edit note:  I sometimes have to republish after I see how many errors I made or links not working.  I list all the memes for the week now as I can only spend a short time on the computer as my eyes get tired. Such is life. To continue reading posts you must click older post below or see the index at the top or the side or pick a popular post or label from the sidebar.


  1. Awesome captures for the day!! I do love the bear -- although I would definitely not want to get as close as you accidentally did to the one with the lip smacking growl!!! And your birds are so incredibly beautiful and colorful! Thanks for sharing the adventure and the beauty!!

  2. Anonymous4:12 pm

    Many wonderful captures here. I love the bear shots, but you seem to get dangerously close to an unpredictable wild animal.

  3. Wow! You are one brave woman. I would have made a hasty retreat from those bears. I do love the pictures and that Pintail,it is a gorgeous duck. I have always thought that they looked dressed in their finest.Very elegant.

  4. This post of the bear reminded me of one time in my life....long, long, LONG ago. I was a kid, we were in Yellowstone Park, and along the roadside, there was a brown bear by a tree. We stopped, I got out and had my brownie camera that was new for the trip. I walked along in the tall grasses to get a closer view of the bear. My brother, much older than I...was behind me with the super 8mm movie camera. Just as I snapped my camera, my brother said "Quick, Get back to the car". I didn't hesitate, and by the time I jumped through the open window in the back seat, I could feel her breath on my legs....she was a mama bear and there were two cubs up the tree....

    Oh my gosh...in other words, I don't think after that that I would EVER want to wait around to get a photo of a bear as you did. Bravery goes only so far.

    Now that said, I LOVE your bird photos!!! Especially the close up photos of the woodpecker.

    Thanks for linking up this week at the Bird D'Pot.

  5. Shoveller and Pintail are two birds we see here. We get Shoveller all year

    ta for sharing

  6. Great sequence!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  7. I guess I should mention that all bear photos are taken with a 400 lens so I am actually not as close as it appears. I would not be right up next to a wild bear.

    thanks so much for your visits...so nice to hear from my blog friends.

  8. You are much braver than me with the bear but you got great shots. Your birds are colorful and serene.

  9. Wow! That has got to be an amazing experience ~ Fantastic shots of Mr Bear and the birds also ~ (A Creative Harbor)

  10. Great series of shots, I love the bears. Your birds are all cuties too. Thanks for sharing, have a great day!

  11. Lovely captures, you framed the bear so well. The bird captures are fantastic too.

  12. A great series of photos. The birds are beautiful - of course! - but the bear photos are amazing. Even with a 40mm lens I think you were brave to get that close!!

  13. The birds were great - but the bear pictures are wonderful! 400mm seems like a good idea!

    Stewart M - Australia

  14. Gorgeous shots of both the bears and the birds Nora. That bear must have been comfortable with you there. I'd love to see the videos!

  15. Love your bear photos. You do seem a bit close for my comfort, but the pics are wonderful. Can't wait to see the videos.

  16. Amazing bear photos, Nora. I love them. I lived most of my life in BC, and was thrilled every time I saw a bear. Your big fella there sure seems to have figured out how to keep other bears away from the weir.
    And your "N" birds for ABC Wednesday are delightful. A simply wonderful post.

  17. You are one brave photographer! Great shots.

  18. Fantastic shots of the bears and birds. I've seen bears in the wild but haven't ever managed to photograph them so I'm envious. Carver, ABC Wed. Team

  19. Love the black bear photos!!! We have some here in KY, but I've never seen one in the wild. The Flicker and Shoveler photos are fantastic!

  20. great shots
    too many bears have shown up in urban areas recently, and at least one of them around here was killed because of his recidivism

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  21. When I went up to Bella Coola to teach one year, I went for a walk along the river's edge as it was so peaceful and beautiful. I was standing there admiring the salmon that had died enroute to spawning when I suddenly thought, "BEAR!" I yelled at my daughter to get to the car NOW before telling her why. *Whew* I had suddenly realized that the bear might rather have human than fish for dinner that night! What an awesome post this is!

    abcw team

  22. Great series of photos.

  23. Thank you for your support during my Mother's illness..I am going to speak to that nurse again when I am less upset about it....Michelle

  24. Your bear shots are all gorgeous!

    Nuggets of Wisdom
    Rose, ABC Wednesday

  25. Interesting post! Your photos are awesome!

  26. That bear looks and awesome beast. Really like the Pintail too. A lovely duck.

  27. Wonderful post! A treat to see the birds and to find all these great pictures of the bear too.

  28. Anonymous8:26 am

    These are all such great animal shots. I love the flicker through the window. Your windows must be much cleaner than mine. :-)

  29. Awesome shots. The bear seems to be smiling at you!

  30. Nice sequence of shots...impressive bear photos♫♪

  31. I think Big big bear was thinking you were Lip smacking good...
    Terrific photos.
    We haven't seen the brown mama bear or her new cubs yet this year at Taylor Creek, Lake Tahoe, Calif.
    She usually feeds on the spawning salmon too.

  32. Greetings and Salutations! Those bears and birds shots are awesome. You are brave!
    Joyce M

  33. Wow you have great captures of the black bear and the birds! Thanks for sharing:)
    Only seen the black bear twice in the wild of Yosemite Nat. Park -that's probably as close as they would get to the very populated areas of California.

  34. I am just sitting here reading over the comments and thinking what a great group of nature photo bloggers I have here that have commented on my post. Some silent readers have told me that your comments and little comment stories really add a lot to my blog post...my silent readers really find your comments interesting. I also find them interesting. Had to tell you. Thanks.

  35. I know I left a previous comment..this is a wonderful nature filled post..I enjoyed it....Michelle

  36. Thanks everyone, made my day with so many comments...thanks Michelle for your visits and always being so helpful to me, and all those who commented. I feel like I have some great friends here. My email is available on the sidebar as well, I am friendly and like bloggers. Contact me if you are visiting Vancouver Island or if you need blogging help. cheers.


Hi! Thanks so much for visiting my blog on Vancouver Island Nature and Birds. I love to take photos of places we go to on Vancouver Island and the birds and animals we see. I love also to get comments so please leave a note for me. Cheers and thanks again. Nora
Comment moderation is on so the comment does not publish right away. I do not have Google+ sorry cannot comment on some of those sites. PLEASE DO NOT PUT A LINK IN THE COMMENT ANYMORE. I AM SORRY BUT THAT IS THE WAY IT IS NOW.