Tag Archives: eagles

Herons, Eagles & Humpbacks

June 14 2018 Sightings on our 3 hour Whale Wildlife Tour

Great Blue Heron

The Great Blue Heron is the largest and most wide spread heron in North America. It is a large bird with slate gray body, browinsh neck streaked with white, a white face, crown with blackish plumes. Long necked, long legged wadder flies with its neck pulled in, s shaped and legs trailing.

Fun Facts :

*Great Blue Herons are very tall standing 122 cm (48 in) with a wingspan of 188 cm (74 in)

*Great blue herons look enormous in flight, with a wingspan of over 6 feet.

*Nest building begins in February when the male chooses a territory and actively displays to attract a female. The nest is usually high up in a tree, the male brings the female sticks, twigs who constructs a platform lined with strips of bark, small twigs and conifer needles.

*Both parents take turns incubating the eggs for about 4 weeks. The female lays 2-6 pale blue eggs. The parents bring food to the nest for two months, the young fledge at about 60 days.

Bald Eagle Nest

The Bald Eagle is the only eagle exclusive to North America. They are at the top of the food chain and have no natural enemies. Adult bald eagles are dark brown with white heads and tails. They have hooked yellow beaks, large talons and oversized feet equipped with spikes, called spicules. Eagles also have super vision which allows them to see four to seven times farther than humans.

Fun Facts:

*A male bald eagle average weight is 2.7-4 kg with a wing span of more than 2 meters. The female bald eagle is bigger than the male, average weight 4.5-6.8.

*Young eagles are called eaglets, they are gray and fluffy when they first hatch. Their feathers turn dark brown at about 12 weeks old and ready to fledge. Their tail and head feathers won’t turn white until they are four years old. They have a 50% survival rate in the first year.

*Bald eagles nests are huge and resemble a nest of sticks like Big Bird’s from Sesame Street. The mating pair return to the nest year after year adding material to it, resulting in the nest weighing up to one ton and measuring two meters across and three meters deep.

*The Bald Eagle is Canada”s largest bird of prey. It is an opportunistic feeder, stealing and scavenging food from other animals. Their diet consists primarily of fish, but if fish is scarce they will feed on rabbits, birds, squirrels and even young deer.

Humpback Whale

Humpback Whales are the acrobats and songsters of the great whales. They are the fifth largest of all whales. To identify a humpback whale look for a dark gray to black body, black and white pectoral flippers. When a humpback dives watch for a round hump underneath its short nubby dorsal fin. Watch for the underside of its huge tail flukes which are black and white patterned with scars. Humpback flukes are like human finger prints, no two are the same.

Fun Facts:

*Humpback whales are about 48-62.5 ft (14.6-19 meters) long and weigh about 40 tonnes (36 metric tons). Their flippers can grow to 16 ft (5 meters) long. Their massive tails, Flukes can be 18 ft (5.5 meters) wide. Newborn calves are about 16 ft (5 meters) and weigh 2 tonnes. Like most whales the female is bigger than the male.

*Only the males sing on the breeding grounds, some 20 meters below the surface. It is a mystery as to why they sing or how he knows what to sing. The song changes from season to season but all the male humpbacks on each breeding ground sings the same song.

*Humpback whales are the acrobats, they are able to lift their entire 40 tonne bodies completely out of the water. This is known as breaching. Humpbacks can reach speeds of up to 10 knots which is about 18.5 km per hour.

*Humpbacks eat about 1.5 tonnes per day, feeding on krill, small shrimp like animals and small fish.

Humpback Whale blow hole
Humpback Whale knobby “hump”
Humpback Whale fluke or tail

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April 3 2018

Today was an eye opener for me, as a partner in this company I deal with office operations, photo editing, answering the phone, you know the  routine stuff.  I had the opportunity to go on a whale wildlife tour as the photographer, with my partner and 4 guests. Wow! So much respect for the profession.  Imagine what your guide has to deal with on a tour, knowledgable in  wildlife, history of the area, operating the boat, finding wildlife, answering many questions, ensuring guests are comfortable and safe, maintaining your required tickets to run a boat, take photo’s if there is an opportunity and run the boat safely while bobbing in the ocean swells!  There have been many occasions when my partner has returned from a spectacular tour full of incredible sightings but no photo’s.  Taking photo’s is no easy task while bobbing in the swells, I took over 300 and only half a dozen are worth keeping.   Kudos to all  Guides.

California sea lion.

Beach carnage, a bald eagle snacking on a sea lion carcass.

Steller sea lions hanging out on Mara Rock.

Bald eagle fledgling coming in for a landing.

The elusive Kingfisher.

 

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March 22 2018

Spring has arrived,  or has it!  Mother nature is consistent in the return of abundant  wildlife to our coast, the weather is another issue..rain, hail, sun, snow.

A very wet Bald Eagle

Gray whale in sun

Snow capped mountains and wispy clouds

Mature Bald Eagle teachings

Yes the kid nailed the landing

 

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Spring 2016 With Beachcomber Ocean Tours

March 26     Cormorant

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©Beachcomber Ocean Tours

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 30    Eagles

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©Beachcomber Ocean Tours

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April 4    Harbour Seal

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April 17    Juvenile Bald Eagle

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©Beachcomber Ocean Tours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Another awesome day whale watching in Ucluelet with Beachcomber Ocean Tours. We have had humpbacks along the western shore for the past 2 days and they have all been very active. We are also seeing eagles nests, sea lions, harbour seals and so much more. Give us a call 250 726-8921 to reserve your tour!

©Beachcomber Ocean Tours
©Beachcomber Ocean 

IMG_6615 1©Beachcomber Ocean Tours
©Beachcomber Ocean Tours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

©Beachcomber Ocean Tours
©Beachcomber Ocean Tours

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Join Beachcomber Ocean Tours on a whale watching tour in Ucluelet. Every day mother nature offers us the opportunity to view humpback whales, grey whales, orca whales, sea lions, sea otters, eagles, black bears at low tide and the most spectacular scenery. You  never know what you will see, so give us a call 250 726-8921 and join us on a whale/wildlife tour.

©Beachcomber Ocean Tours
©Beachcomber Ocean Tours

©Beachcomber Ocean Tours
©Beachcomber Ocean Tours

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