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Birds Hill Park – Manitoba

Birds Hill Park – Manitoba

A photo journal of what I had come cross during one of my early morning walks.  

It took place on a sunny cool winter morning through the Cedar Bog Trail & Chickadee Trail, located in Birds Hill MB.  Each trail takes approx. 1 hour to complete.

Idea for Families / Kids – during the spring / summer, pack a Microscope in your backpack and  scoop up a couple drops of bog water.   Have a look at the amazing little creatures & plant life under the microscope!  

Swimming in the Rain – Riding Mountain National Park MB

Swimming in the Rain – Riding Mountain National Park MB

Moon Lake – Riding Mountain National Park located in Manitoba

When I first arrived, it was beautiful outside and the lake was as calm as can be…

I met a few interesting people, including…

A family from Minot USA had been coming to Riding Mountain for approx 30+ years and its been family tradition that’s being passed onto the grandkids. 


Then there was a traveler from Quebec who was definitely living in the moments. A free-spirited, dread-locks and all, young lady who had worked on a Manitoba ranch for a couple months but was now making her way back to home to Quebec.

As the clouds rolled it and it started to rain, it was time to take shelter.  However, not for this young lady….

…she decided it was time to go swimming. Although it was raining, it was still quite warm out.

As for me and a couple others, keeping dry and out the rain was preferred and we were sharing the shelter with seven nests filled with baby barn swallows and their parents.

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Visiting the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre

Visiting the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre

Location: Errington BC – Vancouver Island

I can’t rave enough about this place!  The enthusiasm of the volunteers, staff, the facility and the grounds layout was awesome.

Let me back up…

I had just finished checking out the Goats on Roof and the Marble Statues, and now it was time to continue on my way, but which way? That’s when I discovered there was a Wildlife Recovery Centre nearby.

Heading that way and having no idea what to expect or if visitors were even allowed to observe, I still had to check it out.

The parking entrance was being overlooked by volunteers, which could only mean one thing… this place was about to get busy and was preparing to welcome visitors!

Unknown to me at the time, it was actually Family Day at the NIWR and it was FREE! Even though today was free admission, it should be noted that what they normally charge is well worth checking this facility out! – NIWR website

What to expect ….

Obviously their primary focus is on the recovery & release of wild animals which include… well… almost everything from Black Bears, Cougars, Turtles, Ducks, Golden & Bald Eagles, other animals including Wild Turkeys. They also have a pond with frogs, newts, and other water critters.

This rooster was so interested in my camera that he kept following me and photobombing my shots,  but his attitude sure chanced when I brought out the frying pan.

I’m not sure about his story, other then he likes hanging out with the Wild Turkeys. I was told that “He thinks he’s a wild turkey” and tries to mimic them.  

The NIWR centre was more than just showing people recovering animals, it also had various buildings along with outdoor displays that provided tons of information. Some were interactive, including displays the volunteers were enthusiastically wanting to show off.

One volunteer had a long rope with key tags attached at various points. With my arms reaching outwards to the side, the rope was stretched over my the length of my arms, where a key tag hang. The key tag read, “If you were a bird, your arm span suggests you are a Turkey Vulture”. .. I want a second opinion….sigh, I’ve been called worse. 

I know you want to see more photos of the animals, but the cage wiring prevented me from capturing any good photos of the animals. Besides, the animals were best viewed in person, so I just enjoyed it without worrying about taking any more photos.

I highly recommend going to the NIWR, there’s lots to see & experience.
At the very least, check out their website – NIWR  

Note: Although my photos mostly show birds, that’s only because they were the easiest to photograph today.  All the other wildlife was a little more difficult to capture on camera.  So check out their website to see the other wildlife they care for. 

Fresh Fish Feast: Feeling Full – Fly Low!

Fresh Fish Feast: Feeling Full – Fly Low!

Eagle on Top, Tourists on Bottom

On the North Eastern Shores of Vancouver Island along Port Hardy’s Waterfront…

It’s hard not to notice a group of 8 bald eagles (adults & juveniles) making a fuss at opposite end the of the waterfront’s walkway. It was quite obvious they weren’t too shy about it either because they attracted the attention of tourists & residents in the area.

It all had to do with one dominant Bald Eagle who was enjoying a Fresh Fish Feast (say that 10 times really fast) and wasn’t about to share until he had his fill.

Most of the photos were taken within 50 – 60 feet of them, which was really cool to see just how big these bird are, including their talons.

One of the juvenile bald eagles stood by, patiently waiting for his turn…

Eventually the dominant eagle took off, but I think he was feeling a little fun and too get any height off the ground…


More photo from this Fish Feast – A Visual Experience


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Bald Eagle named George

Bald Eagle named George

This is George, the resident Bald Eagle of Port Hardy, BC.  

I first observed George upon my arrival in Port Hardy at the beginning of summer. As usual, every morning and evening throughout the summer months, George sat in his favourite tree, located on the water front, which was only 200′ from where I was staying.

It’s pretty cool to wake up, look out my bedroom window and there was George, soaking in the beauty of the morning sunrise. He also had the perfect spot overlooking the waterfront, the town, the amazing scenery that northern Vancouver Island has to offer and of course the view of the snow peeked mountains from the mainland.

As for where he goes during the day, have no idea… but George isn’t the only bald eagle in the area. There are several! Throughout the day, bald eagles are soaring through the skies and I never know which is George, but I’m sure he’s up there.

Check out George among this group of bald eagles that were on the shoreline during low tide and only 100’ from his tree – The Storyteller – Bald Eagle talks up a storm!  

Just before I would retire for bed, looking out the window, there is George… sitting on top of his tree.

More photos of George and his friends – A Visual Experience 

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They both gave the “Evil Death Look” – Eagle vs. Raven

They both gave the “Evil Death Look” – Eagle vs. Raven

Walking along Stories Beach (Fort Rupert – Vancouver Island), I came across a Bald Eagle sitting high up in a tree, where he was taking in the view.  

All of a sudden a Raven landed on a branch nearby.  Wow! They gave each other the Evil Death Look.  Neither one budged for several minutes … I don’t even think they blinked.

Then, at the same time they pulled their heads back
as if say, “just kidding!” 

Eventually the Raven flew away….only to go and bother another Bald Eagle in the area.

More photos from this day – A Visual Experience

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Canadian Geese – Fresh Air – Sunrise – and One Canadian’s Journey

Canadian Geese – Fresh Air – Sunrise – and One Canadian’s Journey

Last evening was a beautiful way to finish the day – (click here).  

This morning was a beautiful way to start the day…

Taking in the clean fresh air of the Northern Island’s (Vancouver Island) peacefulness, while Canadian Geese paddle their way  along the ocean’s shoreline.

More photos from this morning – A Visual Experience 

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Early Morning Walks – The Sights in Port Hardy

Early Morning Walks – The Sights in Port Hardy

At the crack of dawn when the sun is rising and shining on Port Hardy, its an enjoyable and tranquil time to be walking around exploring.  It’s the peacefulness along the water’s edge with sights of landscapes, ocean, low or high tide and frozen mountain tops in the distance. Very visually pleasing during this time of the day.

Almost every morning (and evenings) you’ll see at least one or two bald eagles soaring.

One particular bald eagle has claimed the tree top over looking Hardy Bay. His tree is actually right along the water’s edge, beside the Pier Side Landing Hotel, and visible from the windows of the North Coast Trail Hostel. He’s there every morning and returns in the evening.

As you walk along the path, following the water’s edge, there are several information plaques about the northern island’s wildlife.  A couple interesting facts that caught my attention…

First – Black Bears.  The Black Bear can weigh anywhere from 200 – 600 pounds.  Huh? You mean there is no average?  Just seems odd that there is 400 pound adjustment.

Second – Steller Lion Seals.  This was really odd when it came to Life Span.  The Females – 30yrs.  The Males – 18yrs.  That’s almost 1/2!  Huge difference.  Not sure why that is, but it was interesting none-the-less. 

Other informational plaques included the Orcas (Killer Whale), Birds, Wolves, and few more for you to read about.   All very interesting stuff!

At low tide, don’t forget you have an Alien Landscape to explore!

The harbour with all its boats and float planes. Float Planes can be seen coming and going throughout the day. 

I managed to capture this Loon skimming and playing on top of the water. 

Walk through town and you immediately notice its very quiet for awhile because most businesses don’t open until 10am.  

 

 

 


Not one of my better shots, but it was pretty neat to see a bald eagle watching a sea otter swim passed, while a raven was nearby.  All 3 are very common in this area. 

I have a few more really neat photos from my morning walks in Port HardyA Visual Experience  Have a look! 

 

 

 

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