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.



Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Male Ruby-crowned Kinglet April 19, 2013 by Larry Halverson


It was difficult photographing this Ruby-crowned Kinglet, as it was constantly moving from one branch to the next, searching for insects. Read more »

What's Up - Gastony's cliff-brake


Gastony's cliff-brake, a rare BC Fern - by Larry Halverson


Not the prettiest plant to photograph but I was excited when I found it the other day growing in a limestone cliff crevice near Columbia Lake. Read more »

What's Up - Nine-leaf Desert Parsley

Nine-leaf Desert Parsley, April 18, 2013 - by Larry Halverson

Nine-leaf Desert Parsley is a common plant in SE British Columbia. It can be found growing on the dry open slopes around Radium Hot Springs.  Read more »

Bears Without Fear

Kevin van Tighem started his Parks Canada career in Kootenay National Park

The bears are out and, within the next month, Kevin’s new book will be too. It is intended to make western North America's bear country more safe and rewarding both for bears and people.

He will be donating 5% of his royalties from this book to WildSmart Bow Valley to support their important work helping people and bears coexist, and a further 10% to the Nature Conservancy of Canada to support their important work protecting the natural places bears need to survive. Read more »

Knock Knock - Whoos There?


Whoos There? Photo by Hans Fuhrer

 Boreal Owl April 3, 2013 - Photo by Hans Fuhrer


Retired Kootenay Park Warden, Hans Fuhrer noticed and photographed this Boreal Owl while skiing in Taynton Bowl at Panorama Ski Hill. Hans said “it poked it’s head out the hole when I knocked on the hollow tree snag” Read more »

Looking For Another Squirrel

Golden-mantled ground squirrel - Photo by Alan Dibb

Golden-mantled Ground Squirrels, distinguished by their prominent stripes, emerge a bit later than Columbian Ground Squirrels but seem rarely to be seen in spring.   Read more »

Have You Seen One This Spring

Columbia Ground Squirrel - by Alan Dibb

Columbian ground squirrels are still, as far as we know, down in their winter burrows, but they will be emerging soon.  The average date for first emergence is about April 10th at low elevations, but it has occurred as early as March 26th.  Read more »

Head Banger

This spetcular video of the Bighorn Sheep Rut was taken by Deborah Griffith Nov. 7, 2012

The Bighorn Sheep rut begins in November. Typically, fights occur only between closely matched rams; if one has an inferior set of horns, he generally gives way to his adversary without a fight or with only a token tussle. However, when two evenly matched rams tangle, like the ones Deborah Griffith videoed near the Kootenay National Park office in Radium Hot Springs, a terrific and lengthy contest may ensue. Read more »

Screech - Almost Another One

November 2, 2012 Radium Hot Springs, BC - Photo by Larry Halverson

“The bighorn sheep population near the village of Radium Hot Springs, B.C., have a high rate of highway mortalities. In recent years, there has been a substantial increase in the number of bighorn highway mortalities on Highway 93/95, just outside the park's boundary. Read more »

Grand Slam of Chickadees


Chestnut-backed Chickadee, one of the few photos that wasn’t a blur of chestnut colour. Photo by Larry Halverson


Chestnut-backed Chickadee is an uncommon resident in BC’s eastern Southern Interior and they are very rare in the southern Rocky Mountains. So when John Pitcher, former Kootenay National Park Naturalist, called today and said he had one at his feeder I grabbed the camera and headed to his place in Invermere.

 Read more »

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