The insect in this video might be mistaken for a hummingbird or large bee, but it is a moth of the sphingidae family. They are commonly known as hawk moths, sphinx moths, or hummingbird moths. There are six species in Alberta. I believe this one is a Hummingbird Clearwing Moth. It is found throughout Alberta and is active in the daytime.
These moths are known for their ability to hover while feeding on flower nectar. You can see the long curved proboscis. With a wingspan of about six cm, you can see how they are sometimes mistaken for hummingbirds!
The video was taken in Peace River, in northern Alberta, on June 10, 2015.
I recently found a Red Fox den in the city of Calgary. There are five kits, and although I didn’t have my camera when I found them, I returned later and was able to get a couple of photos before the adult spotted me. The den is in a very exposed and quite busy spot, so I didn’t want to stay and disturb them.
Paul Turbitt of Turbo’s Track and Photo Tour sent in some photos one a rare encounter he had with one of the harder to find mustelids that are native to our fine province. Both the text and photos below have been provided by him.
On a run with a client from New York this January we were treated to 10 minutes with a Pine Marten, only my second sighting in my life. These are tremendous little critters and as a member of the weasel family they are quite the hunters. We spotted it scurrying across the road in the middle of the day. We found it in the trees, where they spend much of their time.
First look at the Pine Marten
It seemed not too bothered by us walking around beneath him trying to get better angles with few branches in the way.
Full on face shot of the curious Pine Marten
There is no question that these are predators, just look at that the size of the ears in comparison to the size of the head.
The large ears of a Pine Marten allowing for the excellent hearing this species is known for.
One of the distinguishing markings of these tree loving weasels is their chest patches which are typically lighter than their backs and chests. The colouration can run anywhere from near white to a deep buttery yellow colour.
The distinguishing chest patch of the Pine Marten.
These weasels will travel for miles never touching the ground. They are as “at home” in the trees as squirrels.
Pine Marten in the branches
Despite their ferocious nature they are beautiful critters to spend time with. I would hope that all that search this little hunter out get to spend some time with one.
I spotted these two White-tailed Deer peeking out over a grain field in the SW corner of Calgary on September 9, 2013. The shots of them running away show the distinctive white tails which indicate that they are alarmed, and which alerts other deer to possible danger.
This Canadian Lynx was resting on a trail in a wooded area in the hills in Peace River, in northern Alberta, on September 2, 2013. The location was within the town limits, only about 300 metres from the nearest houses. This was the first Lynx I’ve seen in the wild.
Although these photos weren’t taken in the Calgary area, we do have Lynx here, and they are sometimes seen inside the city limits.
Taken with a Canon EOS 40D with 100-400 mm lens from a distance of about 8 metres.