Young Bull Elk :: The Prince Of The Rockies »» Alberta Wildlife Photography


We are well into the swing of the annual elk and moose rut, where bull elk and moose are truly something to see (and hear). So far, I haven’t been able to photograph the rut, but I’m sure hoping to spend some time doing so. It’s never enough, but I’ll take whatever time I can get this year, even if it’s only a few days. Oh  yeah!

Of all the images I have of bull elk, I have to say this one makes me chuckle; here we have a very young, eager and rather inexperienced little bull, ready to find his mates for the season. He is yet to be crowned the king of the Rockies, for there are many years ahead of him before he reaches the status as the majestic one.

I had just purchased the Canon 300mm ƒ2.8 when I shot him (October 2009), and while I know it’s not the most desirable lens for wildlife in terms of focal length (I am reminded of this regularly, thanks, folks!), I was rather happy to be able to capture some of the habitat surrounding this young bull, turning what could be seen as gear limitations into an environmental portrait for this young North American Elk (wapiti). Close up wildlife portraits are always coveted by many, and they are so very important to capture, but so are behavioural captures and environmental portraits. Between these different kinds of images, we are able to have a better glimpse of our wild world.

Though for very different reasons as this young prince (haha), I too am eager for what’s to come.

Young Bull Elk Eyeing His Harem During Rutting Season

 

See you in the field!

Plains Bison Lost At Elk Island National Park »» Alberta Wildlife Photography


I was going to write up large post on this accident when I discovered more details, but instead with just a handful of words and images, I’ll mark the death of two beautiful Plains bison at the hands of humans in a motor vehicle accident on what is usually a safe road in the heart of Elk Island National Park, a place committed to the safety and conservation of wildlife, including both the Plains and Wood Bison.

“I feel like I’m nothing without wildlife. They are the stars. I feel awkward without them.” ~ Bindi Irwin 

These aren’t the 2 bison killed yesterday morning, but these images of Plains Bison (bison bison bison) were taken at Elk Island by me in previous years.

Plains Bison, bison bison bison, Elk Island National Park of Canada, Parc national du Canada Elk Island, tourism, nature, outdoors, wildlife, landscape, Sidney Blake Photography,  photographer, Alberta, copyrighted image, All Rights Reserved 2012, wildlife conservation

Plains Bison, bison bison bison, Elk Island National Park of Canada, Parc national du Canada Elk Island, tourism, nature, outdoors, wildlife, landscape, Sidney Blake Photography,  photographer, Alberta, copyrighted image, All Rights Reserved 2012, wildlife conservation

Plains Bison, bison bison bison, Elk Island National Park of Canada, Parc national du Canada Elk Island, tourism, nature, outdoors, wildlife, landscape, Sidney Blake Photography,  photographer, Alberta, copyrighted image, All Rights Reserved 2012, wildlife conservation

Plains Bison, bison bison bison, Elk Island National Park of Canada, Parc national du Canada Elk Island, tourism, nature, outdoors, wildlife, landscape, Sidney Blake Photography,  photographer, Alberta, copyrighted image, All Rights Reserved 2012, wildlife conservation

Stay safe when in wildlife country, folks. For your sake as well as our wildlife.

See you in the field.

Elk Island Gophers »» MIA?


Posted in: Elk Island National Park, National Parks of Canada, Wildlife on September 10th, 2012

There’s been a missing presence at Elk Island of late, particularly on the Bison Loop. No, it’s not the iconic Plains Bison that rule the Bison Loop, but rather one of their comrades and a tasty treat for the resident coyote: the Richardson’s Ground Squirrel, commonly known as pocket gophers. I’m not saying they’ve completely disappeared, as that scenario is highly unlikely and I’m sure many have seen them, but it wasn’t until a couple weeks ago I actually saw any, and even then, there were only two.

It’s well known even when there are no bison to be found roaming the Bison Loop, you will at least find dozens of these little gophers running around, but this summer, they’ve been hiding out whenever I’m around.

So what’s the deal, I wonder? Am I the only one who is now thinking of reclassifying these little guys to the elusive category to join the ranks with elk and moose? Hmmm … I’m heading back there this week where I intend to answer my own question:

Where in the world did the Elk Island Gophers scurry off to?

Elk Island Gopher, Richardsons Ground Squirrel, Elk Island National Park of Canada, Parc national du Canada Elk Island, Elk Island National Park, Parc national du Canada Elk Island, Elk Island, Discover Alberta, Explore Alberta, Travel Alberta, Alberta Tourism, Alberta, Canada, National Parks of Canada, Parcs nationaux du Canada, Parks Canada, Parcs Canada, tourism, nature, outdoors, wildlife, landscape, Elk Island Photography, EINP, Sidney Blake Photography, Sidney Blake, photographer, Alberta, copyrighted image, All Rights Reserved, 2012

See you in the field!