April 2012



Badger, a four-legged digging machine.
Photo by Wendy Schuck of Wenmargraphics at her home near Redstreak Campground.


On April 29th, Wendy Schuck had a little help digging her garden, from her neighbour - the badger. Read more »

Save the Frogs Day

Northern Leopard Frogs once found in Kootenay National Park -
Photo by Larry Halverson


The Northern Leopard Frog (Southern Mountain population), is designated endangered by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. The population is threatened by low recruitment, disease, predation, habitat fragmentation and degradation, and introduced fish species.  Read more »

So It Is Tick Season

 Hungry Tick                                                                                  Full Tick
Photos by Mark Polnsky


Ticks are related to spiders and resemble tiny watermelon seeds with legs. They have sensory organs in their front legs that can detect carbon dioxide, odours & heat given off by hikers. So when the hiker passes within reach of the tick, it climbs on (ticks do not jump or fly onto their hosts). Read more »

Butcher Bird

 Northern Shrike photograped on April 19, 2012 at the Radium Mill Pond - by Ross MacDonald.


The following discription from the Canadain Museum of Nature should work up your appitie.  Read more »

Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay in Kootenay

April 13, 2012, Jonah Ritsch with his proud mom Lori Horrocks in the Radium Hot Springs Pools -
Photo by Rick Hansen Foundation


Lori Horrocks, Public Outreach and Education Officer for Kootenay National Park, was one of 7,000 medal bearers taking part in 10 month cross-country relay to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Rick Hansen’s legendary “Man in Motion World Tour”. Read more »

First Up

 Standing tall and still - looking like a wooden peg. - Photo by Ross MacDonald


On the morning of April 18, 2012, Ross MacDonald reported and photographed the first Columbia Ground Squirrel on the road to the Radium Mill Pond. Read more »

Sheep Grazing

Rocky Bighorn Sheep on the mile hill at Radium Hot Springs. Photo by Larry Halverson

Bighorn sheep are grazers. Their diet consists of grasses, sedges and flowering plants, however they will resort to eating twigs and woody plants when preferred foods are scarce. Read more »

Monitoring Carnivores with Cameras

 Cougar photographed March 20, 2012, in the Redstreak area by KNP Remote Camera


Motion-activated cameras have been set up in Kootenay National Park as part of a carnivore monitoring project. Cameras are mounted on trees or encased in rock cairns to monitor wildlife use in both frontcountry and remote backcountry locations. Read more »

Urban Wildlife

Urban Mule Deer with Christmas lights, looking for a plug in. Photo by Larry Halverson

Columbia Mountain Institute for Applied Ecology is hosting Urban Wildlife: Challenges and Management conference on April 18-19, 2012 in Cranbrook, BC.  Read more »

Love Song


Black-capped Chickadee is one of  3 species of chickadees found in Kootenay National Park.
Photo by Larry Halverson


Almost everyone can identify the bird that sings a rapid, nasal chickadee-Dee-Dee. It is the call the chickadee uses to challenge intruders or to express alarm and it can be heard anytime during the year. However in April, Read more »

Only at This Time of Year

Like a pastel painting, the hues of red & yellow willow bark add a nice touch of colour to the Columbia Valley. 
Photo by Larry Halverson

People usually associate reds and yellows with autumn but these colours are also found at this time of year in the willows. Read more »

Mammoth Peak

It may be greening up around Radium Hot Springs but in the North end of the Kootenay, it is still a black and white picture. Photo by Amar Athwal


This great photo of the Kootenay Parkway and the Vermilion range was taken on March 18, 2012, by Amar Athwal. Read more »

Better Hurry

Better hurry! - photo by Larry Halverson

Registration for Wings Over the Rockies starts today - photo by Larry Halverson

The 16th Annual Wings Over the Rockies FESTIVAL, scheduled for May 7th to 13th

Have you ever come back from a trip to another province or another country and marveled at our own backyard: the Rockies, the Purcells and the Columbia wetlands?  Well, that's the theme of the 2012 Wings Over the Rockies Festival -- Our Backyard, the Envy of the World. Read more »

Tigers in Kootenay?

No, this is not in Kootenay National Park however the photographer, Danny Catt, formerly worked as a Naturalist in Kootenay. He sends greetings to his Kootenay friends from India. 


“Howdy folks... I am now in Ranthambore National Park in India ... don't think there are any Columbian Ground Squirrels here but I will keep my eyes open. I did a night safari last night in the park and although we did not see Tigers... we did see many species (from small mammals scurrying across the road to Spotted Deer, Sambar and Bluebulls). It was magical feasting Read more »

Heads Up


What a life, just had a good 8 month sleep! - photo by Larry Halverson

Kootenay National Park has been keeping track of when Columbia Ground Squirrels emerge from hibernation. Their appearance dates in April can vary from year to year. However their emergence pattern is the same - first the adult males surface, then Read more »

Willow Rose

These dry galls "willow roses" are easy to find during this time of year - photo by Larry Halverson

The strange-looking growths on willow twigs are called galls. They are caused when an insect or mite inserts an egg and at the same time injects chemicals into developing plant tissues. The chemicals stimulate the plant cells into a rapid unusual growth in the vicinity of the egg. When the egg hatches the larval continues to secrete fluids so the plant grows abnormally into a gall. Read more »

Signs of Spring - Pussy Willows

Fuzzy catkins on willows, emerge from a closed bud stimulated by an increase in temperature. Photo by Larry Halverson


Pussy willows emerge in early spring when it's still quite cold. But when the sun shines, the temperature of the center of the catkin can rise above air temperatures by trapping the heat from the sun with it's “fur coat” of soft, silvery, insulating hairs. This additional warming helps the development of the willow flowers. Read more »

What's That Smell?

There's no itch involved, bears rub trees for a scent mark to warn others to keep away. - Video by Parks Canada Read more »

More on Cougars


Cougar kills lead to trail warning - Photo by Larry Halverson


“Recent cougar activity in the Sinclair Canyon area of Kootenay National Park, near Radium Hot Springs, has prompted Parks Canada to issue a warning for three trails near the community.
The warning is for the Redstreak Campground Trail, Juniper Trail and Sinclair Canyon Trail, where people are advised to use special caution." Read more »