Friday, August 04, 2006

Ursos Arctos in the Wild

We've entered another stretch of poor weather here in Juneau, but I found a website where you can watch Grizzly Bears in the wild via a hidden camera. The following is a little background taken from the National Geographic website (photo also curtosy of the website):

It happens every summer. On any given day from late June to early August, as many as 50 brown bears may converge on Alaska’s McNeil River Falls. There they feed on the abundance of salmon running through its tumbling currents along the McNeil River. And during the season, small groups of people quietly observe them, striking what may be the perfect balance between wildlife and humans.

That formula has worked at McNeil River State Game Sanctuary since the mid-1970s, when the Alaska Department of Fish and Game—with protection of the bears in mind—began limiting viewing access at McNeil River Falls and nearby Mikfik Creek to ten people per day, selected by lottery. But why is this wilderness so special?

Established in 1967, the 200-square-mile (518 square kilometers) sanctuary protects the world’s largest concentration of wild brown bears (also known as grizzlies), and in late June they begin to congregate at McNeil River Falls to indulge in a salmon feeding frenzy. As salmon migrate upstream toward their spawning grounds, the rocks and boulders that form the falls slow them down and—along with the shallow depth—make them vulnerable to capture. For the bears, it’s as if they hear a dinner bell ringing, drawn by their appetite for chum salmon.


At August 13, 2006, Blogger Margaret Feinberg said...

Going to McNeil is lotto based but I"ve always wanted to apply and go..

At September 02, 2006, Blogger Maximus said...

Great Site, great content! Love Your blog! Thanks!!!!! My homepage:

At September 17, 2006, Blogger Jill said...

Hi Heather ...

So you were at the Thai restaurant on Thursday (Sept. 14)? I wish you had said something. I've been reading your blog for a while, and I think it would have been cool to meet you. If you're interested in getting together for dinner or a hike sometime, you should contact me at or call 789-0207. I swear I'm not a stalker :-). I'm new to town, and I'd just like to meet more people with similar interests. Anyhow, thanks for commenting on my blog. I look forward to future photos (I've scoured your archives, and your winter entries give me hope for my new home.)
Thanks again,


At September 27, 2006, Blogger Ben said...

Where'd you go???

At November 14, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I miss your wonderful photos.

At February 14, 2007, Blogger scribbit said...

Yes, it's great for bear viewing. My husband's been fishing in that area several times and loves it.

At April 24, 2007, Blogger Té la mà Maria said...

Hello I am visiting your blog-Web and I like much. Congratulations

If you want you can visit ours, one is but irreverent and iconoclastic blog of the world, and one is in Catalonia - Spain

Thank you very much


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At March 04, 2008, Anonymous corner fittings said...

wow check out that bear!

At March 13, 2008, Blogger Brett said...

Lovely photos, the colours in the fireweed on are fantastic.

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