Friends of Kootenay Blog

Access stories and photos about the natural and human history of Kootenay National Park and Columbia Valley Includes highlights about the Friends of Kootenay National Park activities and programs.



New Bird Species for Kootenay National Park

Eurasian Collared-Dove on the side of Highway near McLeod Meadows Oct 26, 2012 - Photo by Alan Dibb

Eurasian Collared-Dove is native to Asia and Europe. It was introduced to the Bahamas in the 1970‘s. Spread to Florida in 1982 and has been rapidly expanding its range across North America. Read more »

Mule Deer Rut

Mule Deer Sparring Oct. 22, 2012 - Photo by Larry Halverson

The aspen leaves have fallen and it is now time for the Mule Deer rut. Read more »

Stuffing Face

October 1, 2012 golden-mantled ground squirrel - Photo by Alan Dibb

Many of us have the good fortune on Thanks Giving of eating till our bellies are full. And this golden-mantled ground squirrel seem to be doing the same. It was feeding  Penstemon ellipticus seeds at around 7,000 feet (2,100 meters) above sea level. Read more »

Swivel Ears

Mule Deer Fawn - Photo by Larry Halverson

One of the Mule Deer’s most distinct features is its big "mule-like" ears. Each ear rotates independently like a scanning radar.  Read more »

Cone Skeletons


Red Squirrel striping a Spruce Cone and eating the seeds - Photo by Larry Halverson

Douglas Fir Cone and Cone "Sleketon" - Photo by Larry Halverson

This time of year Red Squirrels are busy cutting coniferous cones to store and eat. It doesn't take them long to strip the cone bracts and extract the numerous seeds from each cone with their teeth. Read more »

A Wild Day

Click on the picture to see the Video by Parks Canada Agency

24 hours isn't a lot of time. You know the drill: get some sleep, grab a bite, work 8 hours, squeeze in lunch and dinner, walk the dog and go for a bike ride or watch TV if there's any time left.

Read more »

Marmots at Stanley Glacier


Marmot family group from 2011 - Photo by Alan Dibb

Last summer Kootenay’s Wildlife Specialist, Alan Dibb saw many marmots at the head of the Stanley Glacier Valley near the end of the trail, including two family groups.  This year, on several visits, he hasn't seen or heard any, and he didn’t even find any marmot sign at the location of the 2011 family groups.  Read more »

Doesn’t Get Any Cuter

Baby pika at Lake O’Hara - photo by Charlotte Dibb

You can tell that this is a young pika by it’s smooth and babyish looking fur, compared to the rougher looking coats of the adults. It is also about half the size of a full grown pika which is pretty small when you think that adults are only 7 inches (18 cm) long and about 3 inches (8 cm) high.  Read more »

Drying Preserves

 Red Squirrels dry mushrooms on sun-soaked branched before storing them.
 Photo by Larry Halverson


This time of year red squirrels are busy collecting and storing food from early morning until dusk. One well-known trait is their love for Douglas fir cones, but they actually eat a wide variety of other foods, including bark, tree buds, berries and even mushrooms. Read more »

White-tailed Ptarmigan


 White-tailed Ptarmigan a truly alpine bird - Photo by Linnea Halverson

This master of disguise is all but invisible as its mottled plumage blends in with the surrounding rocks. The bird itself seems well aware of the efficacy of its camouflage for it is reluctant to flush when approached, as seen in this video of a ptarmigan taken on  Mount Kindersley in Kootenay National Park.  In fact people have nearly stepped on ptarmigan without seeing them.  Read more »

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