british columbia

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Wet Eagles and Power Gulls

This is who we came to see in Beautiful British Columbia: And this is what drew our eyes upward ... to the gossamer-draped mountains: All morning, the gulls traversed the valley in regiments. First one troop would cross, then another, then a third, their numbers interspersed with sudden flushes of Starlings from the trees (the black dots you see in this frame). In the distance, we watched the gulls drop down [...]

2013-01-10T12:25:18+00:00 January 10th, 2013|Ecology, Issues, Uncategorized|6 Comments

Utility Pole Eagles

Back in the Bay Area, if someone had described to me a place where Bald Eagles huddled on every utility pole like pigeons or Starlings, I would have thought it must be Alaska ... or somewhere along the Samuel Morse telegraph lines of the mid-1800s. I didn't expect that just two hours north -- through the Peace-Arch crossing into British Columbia, toward Vancouver -- I'd have a one-eagle-per-pole morning. I lived in Vancouver in the [...]

2012-03-13T16:47:08+00:00 March 13th, 2012|Birds, Uncategorized|4 Comments

When the Crane Calls

Sandhill Crane Family - ©ingridtaylar Sandhill Cranes have distinctive calls you recognize immediately, once you know them. They rattle, and croak and reverberate through the estuary. The first time you hear that sound, you'll expect something magnificent, prehistoric, indefinable. And that's precisely what you'll encounter. Cranes have ancestry reaching into the Miocene Epoch, 24 to 5 million years ago. They are visions of that geological timeline ... of their past in the murky [...]

2012-02-21T00:59:13+00:00 February 21st, 2012|Birds, Uncategorized|8 Comments

Snowy Owls, Boundary Bay & Rethinking My Own Motivations

Snow Owls on driftwood, shot from the dike trail at Boundary Bay - ©ingridtaylar - Click for Larger Image My only intent in visiting Boundary Bay was to get a glimpse of Snowy Owls. I've never seen them in the wild, and although I brought my camera, I didn't expect to be close enough to get any shots. My gear has its limits, and I also knew the owls were celebrities among birders and photographers. [...]

2012-02-18T16:48:30+00:00 February 18th, 2012|Photography, Uncategorized|9 Comments

First … Signs of Snowies

Boundary Bay, British Columbia Edited to add (2/17/12): Since I posted this, I've had animated discussions with photographers who disagree with my stance on this owl/space/ethics issue. They've told me it's acceptable for photographers to be out in the marshes, as long as they don't flush the owls. I wanted to find out what the "official" policy was, irrespective of my personal feelings. So, I called the regional office to get their take. The person [...]

2012-02-16T10:28:12+00:00 February 16th, 2012|Photography, Uncategorized|21 Comments

Wildlife Photography Ethics Matter

Edited to Add (2/12/2012): This was posted to the local birding list today, about the situation at Boundary Bay where the video below was shot: About 4:30pm a woman from [a rehabilitation society] up the road was seen walking out to the various groups and very kindly asking them to retreat back to the dike. She was very successful in doing so ... she said that two owls had been brought in recently suffering from [...]

2012-02-08T20:27:13+00:00 February 8th, 2012|Uncategorized|15 Comments

Mane of the Lion

"I am an omnivorous reader with a strangely retentive memory for trifles. That phrase 'the Lion's Mane' haunted my mind. I knew that I had seen it somewhere in an unexpected context. You have seen that it does describe the creature. I have no doubt that it was floating on the water when McPherson saw it, and that this phrase was the only one by which he could convey to us a warning [...]

2011-11-01T01:04:44+00:00 November 1st, 2011|Uncategorized|2 Comments

Pelagic Family, On the Rocks

We passed this Pelagic Cormorant family (Phalacrocorax pelagicus) on one of the few isolated nesting spots near Vancouver Island (British Columbia). We were told that in the 1990s, rampant shoreline development eliminated important habitat for the cormorants. This rock island was one of a few ecological reserves the B.C. government set aside for the cormorants' breeding and nesting needs. They share the rock with Double-crested Cormorants -- and, of course, gulls who can be significant [...]

2011-10-10T23:22:54+00:00 October 10th, 2011|Uncategorized|2 Comments