Saturday, August 27th, 2011
Bald Eagle Eyeing Sockey Salmon

It’s not just Black Bears that are feasting on sockeye salmon at Steep Creek right now. There are several other species like Bald Eagles that position themselves to get their share of the pie. A Bald Eagle’s life cycle is closely intertwined with salmon that form a mainstay of its diet. Salmon’s impact on terrestrial ecosystems is enormous and results from salmon migratory activities when it moves inland in great quantities thus interfacing with terrestrial life – carnivorous mammals, scavengers such as Bald Ealges, numerous decomposers, and finally, plants.

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Thursday, May 26th, 2011
Common Loon – Spirit of the Northern Lakes

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It happened during my first visit to Canada in the 80’s. Through the misty sunrise on a lake in northern Alberta echoed a sound that stirred profound emotions in me: the haunting call of the Common Loon. Ever since that morning, I had become attached to this beautiful bird who symbolizes the wildness of the north—wildness that many of us, trapped in an ever-more-urbanized society, long for from the depths of our souls. A couple of days ago I was fortunate enough to photograph the Common Loon up close, not on a remote lake, but at Jewel Lake in Anchorage. I tagged along with Greta’s brother Hugh to visit a friend of his who lives along the lake. It’s a gorgeous little body of water surrounded by houses and many people fish, boat, and swim in it. I didn’t care about all the bustling activity, because when I heard its eerie call echo across the water, it transported me back to the remote lake in northern Alberta where I had heard its unearthly yet beautiful call for the first time.

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Monday, June 13th, 2005
Trumpeter Swan

Trumpeter Swans are among the many species of birds that migrate to Alaska in summer from thousands of miles away. It’s hard to believe that the Trumpeter Swan, the largest waterfowl on earth, was almost hunted to extinction in the lower 48 several decades ago. Today, 80% of the trumpeter swan’s world population of around 16,000 breeds in Alaska.

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