Category Archives: Wildlife

Garden Birds of Alberta

When we moved into our home, we had no garden to speak of, just lawn, no trees or plants. We were quite disappointed last spring and summer when we had no garden birds visitng us. As regular readers will know, we spent a lot of time last year knocking our rear garden (or yard, as it is called here) into shape. As such, we were really quite happy when these fellows appeared in our garden last weekend. Perhaps the addition of the plants is working!

We are not entirely sure what they are as they aren’t anything we would have seen in the UK. We have looked in our Alberta bird book and think they could be:

Chipping Sparrow
Western Tanager
Yellow Rumped Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
We’re sort of guessing here so if anyone knows exactly what they are, we would love to know!

Small Garden Visitor

After what has been a long and snowy winter, we got a chance to put the bird bath back out in the garden (rear yard!) the other day. Normally, we would expect it to take days or longer before any visitors would come along. On this occasion though, it was adopted almost immediately and we had to run for the camera so we didn’t miss the moment!However, it’s not the case that Okotoks is devoid of birds in winter. A Realtor colleague of Eamonn’s was kind enough to share a couple of shots taken in mid-winter. Brent and his wife Cynthia (thanks for sharing the photos guys) have a plethora of bird feeders in their rear yard, which backs onto the local golf course. The birds (in this instance, Partridges, although they have many other visitors) clearly find this something of a safe and welcoming haven in the coldest of weather!J&E

Some of the Wildlife in Okotoks

While doing our weekend chores, we decided to take a little detour down some of the back roads around Okotoks. We were very well rewarded today with a sighting of a Coyote (something we have seen many times, but never managed to capture)… …two very proud stags keeping a watchful eye from their vantange point……and a Jack Rabbit just outside our house!J&E

Cougar Spotted in De Winton

According to local news reports, a large cougar kept residents in the De Winton area close to home over this past weekend. The cougar was spotted on Saturday at an acreage just off 32nd Street. The advice given was to keep children and pets in the house. The RCMP, along with Fish and Wildlife Officers, searched for the cat over the weekend but as far as we know, they haven’t managed to locate it!

The DJ on the local radio station said, “well we do live in the foothills of the rocky mountains”!

We can’t decide whether it’s really cool or really scary!! We think we’ll go with cool!


Head Smashed In – The Return

Regular readers will recall that we visited Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump with Jan’s parents, back in April this year.

We felt the need to return with Linda, Andrew, Sarah & Katie, most particularly because we had read that there was going to be a display of First Nations Dancing that day. If you’ve read the prior post above, you know just how busy the approach road to Head Smashed In gets! However, this time, on the same road, we were held up by, err, “traffic” on more than one occasion…We arrived at Head Smashed In as they were setting up for the dancing display. Everyone and everything was interested in what was going on…The dancing itself was extremely impressive. Beautiful detailing on the hand made costumes, intricate steps in the dances and in the case of the hoop dancer that concluded the display (this being someone we have seen before at the Calgary Stampede), quite unbelievable co-ordination and choreography. We would soooo end up in hospital if we tried anything of what this chap is capable of doing!Afterwards, we took a stroll on the walking paths and saw a plethora of what we believe to be Swallow nests……and we were far from alone on the paths…Is it just us but if you look at the right ear of this fellow, can you see a face looking back at you?! You’ll need to click on the photo to enlarge it to see what we mean.Maybe it’s the stress free drive there and back. Maybe it’s the beautiful scenery that lines much of the route. Maybe it’s the tremendous interest that this place holds when you get here but Head Smashed In is certainly among our favourite days out in Alberta.J&E.

Day Trip To Kananaskis

In the UK, we wouldn’t normally entertain going out for a day trip on a Bank Holiday Monday but over here, it is a totally different prospect. The first Monday in August is a public holiday here in Alberta and after spending the morning finishing up work in the back yard, we headed out for an afternoon drive to Kananaskis Country, which lies between Okotoks and the Rockies. Given the level of traffic……progress was swift and in no time at all, we had reached our destination, where we saw lots of samples of the Albertan provinicial flower, the Wild Rose…The Bellflower’s also looked very pretty…Alberta’s Provinicial Animal is the Big Horn Sheep. No big horn’s on this sweet little young’un though…Having heard about our love of Alberta Beef this Cow was looking a smidge nervous!…Here’s a couple of other locals…The scenery, less than a hour’s drive from home, wasn’t too shabby either!…It was only a short trip but very relaxing and very enjoyable.