Majestic Wildlife of Canada
The Majestic Wildlife of Canada
Canada is a country with many variaties of wildlife ranging from very small to VERY BIG. This lens is mostly about the very big ones but we have tossed in a few smaller ones as well - they are just as majestic.
I do hope you enjoy this lens and will be kind enough to leave a message in our Guest Book at the end.
Wildlife of Canada
Get ready to meet some of the great animals that live in Canada including Muskox, Polar Bears, Moose, Orcas, Big Horn Sheep, Mountain Goat, Grizzly Bears, Elk and others.
These fellows are no lightweights. Some can weigh as much as 4,400 pounds ...yes, four thousand four hundred. Most weight between 1,800 and 3,700 pounds.
There are the Atlantic and Pacific walrus. People of the Arctic have hunted these animals for hundreds (if not thousands) of years for meat, fat (for fuel), skin (for clothing), tusks and bone (for tools).
Most live between 20 and 30 years in the wild. The Pacific walrus outnumbers the Atlantic - their estimated population is somewhere around 200,000 (worldwide) and the Atlantic walrus population is considered to be about 20,000.
Besides man, they have only 2 predators - orcas and polar bears. Generally, neither will confront a full-grown walrus, especially polar bears who often will only attack an immature or injured animal. When an attack does occur against a mature walrus, both the orca and the polar bear have been known to come out on the short end of the stick.
What a beautiful animal to see in the wild! The moose is almost everywhere in Canada with the exception of Prince Edward Island.
The moose population in Newfoundland alone is estimated at between 100,000 and 150,000. They were introduced into that province in 1904 when four moose were transported from New Brunswick. I guess they really like to breed.
They are commonly referred to as the" Canadian Speed Bump". You definitely do not want to hit any. In the Province of New Brunswick alone there are over 200 car accidents a year that involve moose. A rainy, dark night and you don't have a chance. BANG ... you hit the moose and because it is so top-heavy, he/she will fall toward your windshield. Chances are there will be one dead moose and dead passengers, especially those in the front seats. If you do have an accident and are able to live to tell the tale, if I were you, I would start to believe in Guardian Angels.
Moose are enormous animals -standing close to 7 feet at the shouder and weighing as much as 1,500 pounds (male) and close to 800 pounds (female). For the most part, they are quite a docile animal except in "rutting" season. If you encounter a bull in the fall, you might want to be sure that you can climb trees because if he is aware of your presence, you will find a half ton of moose headed towards you.
Also known as the Rocky Mountain Goat, it only lives in North America. Many live in the mountainous regions of British Columbia and Alberta.
They do not provide easy access to predators because of spending much of their time on rocky cliffs because they are so sure-footed. Most often they are found in higher elevations and often above the tree-line.
Both male and female have beards and horns. They weigh between 100 and 300 pounds, the males being about 20% heavier than the females.
The Humpback Whale
Are you ready to learn a little about this Big Guy? He's a species of the baleen whale and when mature can be more than 50 feet in length. Oh wait, that's not the big deal - the big deal is that he can weigh 79,000 pounds!
They are found all around the world and will migrate more than 15,000 miles a year. They spend their summers up north and their winters in the tropics or sub-tropics for breeding and giving birth.
Population of these giants is estimated to be 80,000 worldwide. They can be seen both in the Pacific off the coast of British Columbia and in the Atlantic in Eastern Canada (especially off the coasts of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland). They have yet to be seen in the Prairies of Saskatchewan.
This big hairy beast is an Arctic animal and can be found mainly in the Canadian Arctic and in Greenland. There are some in Sweden, Siberia and Norway.
The male emits a strong odor to attract the females during mating season and that is how the animal got its name. (Any men out there ever used musk cologne?). Their average weight is 600 pounds but some muskox have been known to weigh as much as 900 pounds. Their life expectancy is between 12 and 20 years.
When threatened, the males (the bulls) and the females (the cows) will form a circle around the calves and face outward. The bulls are the front line of this defense and trust me, they make a formidable adversary.
These birds live in large colonies and can usually be found squatting on the small shelves of large seaside cliffs.
There are three types - on the Pacific coast, you will find the Tufted Puffin and Horned Puffin whereas on the Atlantic coast, you will only see the Atlantic Puffin (strange, eh?).
The photo you see here is the Atlantic Puffin which has been chosen by Newfoundland and Labrador as their provincial bird.
Known as the Killer Whale, this mammal is not a threat to man at all although it has been known to eat practically anything else that crosses its path.
It is found throughout all oceans of the world and most of the seas. The largest of the species can be found in the Arctic waters of Canada and Alaska.
What you see here in this photo is an Orca "in flight" and I have actually seen it happen as three swam up a deep water channel in Ketchikan (Alaska).
This bird is hated by almost everyone in the world. Why? Because as it migrates from country to country, it stops to feed and can totally destroy a farmer's crop in their feedng frenzy.
In most countries it is protected, and is known here as a "sh*t-manufacturer".
Bigger than a black bear and much more temperamental is the Grizzly. Only found in Western Canada, its main diet consists of salmon.
A female can weigh more than 400 pounds - a male close to 800. That is really strange when you consider that a newborn cub could weigh less than a pound. One big difference between this bear and a black bear is this one has a hump on its back. Another difference is that the grizzly cannot climb trees due to its size - black bears can. This means the grizzly cannot escape a threat but must "stand" his ground. As a result, he is much more agressive than a black bear.
They generally avoid humans but there has been the odd report of grizzly attacks.
Big Horn Sheep
The horns alone on these animals can weight up to 30 pounds. These animals once numbered in the millions but today, the population is just in the thousands.
The biggest of this species can weigh up to 500 pounds and these are the ones which are found in the Canadian Rockies (Alberta and British Columbia). It is the Provincial animal of Alberta (as well as the State animal of Colorado - but they are not quite as large as the Canadian ones). In fact, the Big Horn Sheep not only lives in Canada but also in the Western USA (California, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, Montana and New Mexico).
During the mating season, the males will engage in head-butting contests to determine who gets the pick of whatever females are nearby.
Ever seen a Canadian dollar?
Nope, it's not a bill ... it's a coin and on one side of the coin, is our national bird, the loon.
This bird has a very haunting sound and when heard at night while sitting around a campfire, we can really appreciate nature.
Deer can be found practically everywhere in Canada except for our two island provinces - Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland.
Yes, they are even in our cities. We have often seen deer only a couple of miles from our home and we live in central Halifax, a population of 400,000 or so.
The photo you see here are of three deer (mama and her two fawns) who visit us regulary at our cottage just an hour's drive from our home.
This is one baby you don't want to come up against. They usually are night animals and tend to stay clear of humans. However, they will prey on livestock, rabbits and any other animals that get in their way. They will ambush their prey and that can include, but certainly is not limited to, deer, moose, and even elk.
It is called by many names - cougar, mountain lion, mountain cat, catamount, puma and panther.
Their range stretches from the Yukon and British Columbia and continues eastward as far as Quebec. There have been reported sightings in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia but that really has not been verified to date. One was known to have been shot in New Brunswick many years ago. Cougars are also found in the Western United States and as far south as the Andes in South America.
Although rarely, cougars have been known to kill humans. Most of the Canadian attacks have occurred on Vancouver Island in British Columbia.
The elk is a member of the deer and moose family. They can be found in Western Canada and are actually a resident of Jasper, Alberta. This town of Alberta lies smack-dab on their migration route and in the summer, they are everywhere. They actually walk down the street just the same as the townfolk who live there. They are important because they generate a lot of tourist dollars for that community. The only time you need to fear them is if a cow has a calf, or it's "rutting" season. Leave them alone - they will leave you alone.
They are also known as wapiti. To give you an idea of their size, they are are usually twice as heavy as a mule deer. The cow can weight around 500 pounds and the bull another 200.
What this animal fears the most are wolf and coyote packs and the solitary on-the-prowl cougar.
Despite the photo you see here, the polar bears have no reason to lay back and relax. Unfortunately, they are having problems these days as a result of global warming. Many large packs of ice are breaking up in the north and flow southward, often with polar bears aboard.
Churchill, Manitoba, is known as the Polar Bear Capital of the World. There are over 900 of them there. These bears are generally only seen far up north but one was actually spotted in Newfoundland having drifted down on an ice flow. The same holds true for Labrador which is east of the province of Quebec. The occasional polar bear can be seen there as well.
Their main diet is the seal.
Polar Bear Video
Looks a bit like a dog but it's not. This animal has decided to increase its domain. Once found only in Western and Central Canada , it is now a resident of Eastern Canada as well. The only places they are not found are on the two island provinces.
In fact, they have become a problem even in Eastern Canada. A soiltary animal is not usually a risk to people but can pose a risk to livestock and pets. When they roam in packs, they can also be a danger to humans. In October 2009, two coyotes attacked a 19 year old in the highlands of Cape Breton (Nova Scotia). She died from her injuries.
- Coyote Sounds
Lots of Coyote Sounds
The rest of the world calls them reindeer. Not us, we call them Caribou. All the males have antlers and most of the female as well.
We, in Canada, have about 2.4 million of these animals. Most live in the mountainous areas of Western Canada and in the tundra of the Northwest Territories. There are some herds in Eastern Canada but they areclassified as endangered as less than a couple of thousand animals exist in that area.
Primarily found along the rocky coast of British Columbia, the males can live up to 18 years and the same for the females. However, it is known that some females have lived to be 30. The males are called bulls and can weigh over 2,000 pounds. The female is lighter - she only weighs around 750.
They are great fish lovers and will consume most of their fish whole. Cod, pollock, squid, octopus, salmon and mackerel need to clear out if any of these predators are nearby.
Closely related to the bobcat is the Canadian Lynx and it weighs from 18 to 24 pounds. It lives in forests throughout most of Canada and can also be found in the tundra up north.
They mainly feed on hares, rabbits, mice, and squirrels but have been known to take down the odd deer. Their biggest enemies are wolves and coyotes.
He's not really big - on average, about 6 pounds. Many of our bigger domestic cats outweigh him.
Known also as a polar fox, a white fox and even a snow fox, he lives in one of the coldest areas in Canada - the Arctic. He can endure temperatures as low as -50 Celsius (that's cold !!!). If you are in an area where seals and polar bears are, likely he is there too.
His main diet consists of lemmings, eggs and anything else he can manage to scavenge.
The Canadian Kangaroo
What's this you say ... a Canadian Kangaroo. Yep ... that's right and they are magnificent animals. I suppose you find it hard to believe that there are kangaroos here in Canada. Yes, they definitely do live here.
However, I must admit that they are not seen in the wild, that is, unless one escapes from a zoo.