The Great Bear Rainforest, British Columbia (10/12)
Visiting the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia, Canada was on my list of places to see and photograph in my lifetime. We were able to have several special bear photo opportunities.The above and below Grizzly Bear sow and cub were some of my favorites. In the below image, the sow and cub were in the alert status due to an approaching male.
We had several Black Bear opportunities as well. This bear jumped in and grabbed the spawned chum salmon seen pictured.
Most of the bears were not shy. This Grizzly feasted on a spawned salmon as we drifted by in our zodiac.
One of the main photo goals was to see and hopefully photograph a Spirit or Kermode Bear. The Spirit Bears only reside on an island off the coast of British Columbia. As you can see from the below images, they are cream color. They are a subspecies of the American Black Bear, not an albino, but a color morph, due to recessive gene. We were a tad apprehensive since we did not see this guy, until the last day and the last two hours of the trip. Although not a killer shot, just seeing one of these rare bears is special and now removed from my bucket list. He was browsing on a mountain side when and feeding on mussels when these photos was captured.
In addition to the bears we also had some great humpback whale opportunities. In the top below image you can see some bubble feeding. Humpbacks use their baleen (like a strainer in their mouths, rather than teeth) to capture krill or small fish. In the middle whale of the image, the baleen can be seen (beige/brown stringy looking stuff) to the right and left of the pink roof of mouth. What happened here, just before humpbacks emerging up out of the water, were herding whales under the school of fish, releasing bubbles to confuse and bunch the fish together. The whales next surge up with their mouths open. The lower jaw actually distends and the mouth collects a huge mouthful of water, then spits it out, straining the krill/fish through its baleen to remain and be eaten. If you look closely at this image, you can see some fish just to the right of the lower jaw jumping up above the water.
The water gushing out of the blowhole in the second image came out nicely with a clean background.
Lots more images over on the web site. Blue Skies.