June 25 2018 Bear wildlife tour with Beachcomber Ocean Tours. There are days when you go out on a tour looking for a specific animal, in this case we were looking for black bears. Mother nature never ceases to amaze us, not only did we see black bears but we watched a black-tailed deer walking along the shore.
BC boasts one of the highest populations of black bears in the world with numbers between 120 150 thousand. Pretty much all of BC is considered “bear country” with bears inhabiting coastal forests to the interior grasslands. Black bears are not always black their colour can be everything from the white Kermode bear to a variety of shades of brown. Vancouver Island bears are considered to be slightly larger and blacker than mainland bears.
*Adult males are about 60-90 cm at shoulder height and weigh anywhere from 80-300 kg. Adult females weigh about 30-70 kg. At birth a cub can weigh less than one quarter a kg.
*Black bears are omnivores and opportunistic feeders. Their diet consist mostly of: insects, nuts, berries, grass and other vegetation. Salmon is a staple in the Vancouver Island bear diet. It is the salmon that provides the much needed fat and protein that will carry them through the winter hibernation.
*Mating takes place every two years, in the summer months of June, July and August. Pregnancy lasts about 220 days with the cubs being born in January and February. Litters range from 1 to 5 cubs, though 2 is the average and if there are more than 2 they rarely survive. Cubs stay with their mothers for up to 2 years.
BC is home to 3 types of deer, mule deer, black-tailed deer and white-tailed deer. The mule deer is the most widely distributed of the three but the deer we see here are coastal black-tailed deer. Black-tailed deer are smaller than mule deer, bucks weigh 60-90 kg and does 40-65 kg. The bucks antlers are usually shed in January. Gestation is about 200 days with the fawns being born in early June. The black-tailed deer are superb swimmers and as a result inhabit many coastal islands.
How to Identify California sea lions: California sea lions are smaller than Steller’s and are members of the eared seal family. Mature males have dark brown fur, mature females and immature males have light yellowish to tan fur and have a bump or ball cap on their head.
*A male can weigh 200-400 kg (441-882 lbs) and is 2-2.5 meters long (6.5-8 ft)
*A female can weigh 50-110 kg (110-243 lbs) and is 1.5-2 meters long (5-6.6 ft)
* A baby or pup can weigh at birth 6 kg (13 lbs) and is 75 cm long (30 in)
How to identify Steller sea lions: Steller sea lions are the largest member of the eared seal family. They are tan to golden brown in colour and darken to chocolate brown on their flippers and underside. Males develop a thick neck mane as they mature.
*A male can weigh 450-1,120 kg (990-2,470 lbs) and is 2.82-3.25 meters long (9.3-10.7 ft)
*A female can weigh 240-350 kg (530-770 lbs) and is 2.3-2.9 meters long (7.5-9.5 ft)
*A baby or pup can weigh at birth 23 kg (51 lbs) males are bigger than females.
May 14 2018
California Sea Lions resting till the next fish boat comes in
California sea lion antics
Humpback Whale showing it’s dorsal fin is barley visible through it’s spout
When humpback whale’s show their tail or ‘fluke’ like in the photo below, is an indication they are preparing to dive
In BC, the sea otter population had all but vanished until 1969 and 1972 when government biologists released 89 otters into the waters of the West Coast of Vancouver Island. By 2008 the population had reached nearly 5,000. They are still listed as a species of “special concern,” have not yet re-established themselves on Haida Gwaii, inside Georgia Strait and along some stretches of the Central Coast.
Western Gulls are large white-headed birds with a heavy bill and pink legs. Breeding adults have a dark grey back, an orange ring around the eye and a red spot on the lower bill.
May 13 2018
Humpback whale dorsal fin
Humpback whale tail
Harbour Seals on Page Island
March 5 2018
Departing Ucluelet Harbour followed the Bold Performance out, likely in search of Herring.
We found Sea Otters a Mom and her baby.
A Gray Whale feeding on herring.
Steller sea lions having fun playing in the water.
And to top our day off 3 Orca’S. A triple header Day. Wow Thank You Mother Nature!
March 11 2018
A long overdue Update everyone.
August 2017 was good & bad for Beachcomber Ocean Tours. We had 2 weeks of adventures & happy customers then on August 17th we had total engine failure, unfortunate for many of our customers who were looking forward to tours to see wildlife & the magical waters of Barkley Sound. Going forward we are excited to be up and running again & the MV Blackfish has been re-powered with a Volvo Penta D6 330. This is state of the art in new diesel engine technology combining superior performance with reduced exhaust emissions, high reliability and increased fuel efficiency. Thank You to Advanced Marine Power, Campbell River for your excellent service. We are Looking forward to 2018 please joins us on our next Adventure!