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Furry Friday: Paul’s Pine Marten

Posted by Dan Arndt

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

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.

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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.

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.

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

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.

Pine Marten basking in the bright sunlight.

Pine Marten basking in the bright sunlight.

Furry Friday: Skunk and Deer

This curious young White-tailed Deer was playing with fire, in the form of a Striped Skunk. The photos were taken by Bill Thompson on April 6, 2009 on his acreage near Bragg Creek.

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Here are some shots of the skunk foraging :

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Furry Friday: White-tailed Deer

Posted by Bob Lefebvre

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.

Taken with a Canon EOS 40D with 100-400 mm lens.

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Furry Friday: Canadian Lynx

Posted by Bob Lefebvre

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.

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Furry Friday: Prairie Moose

Posted by Bob Lefebvre

We spotted this Moose running across highway 22X just east of Calgary on July 28, 2013. We stopped and got a few photos and a video as it ran right across the highway. Fortunately, no cars crossed its path. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a moose east of the city before. It probably came up from the Bow River valley just south of the highway, but I’m not sure where it was headed in such a hurry.

The moose is tagged in its right ear. It is probably part of a study of moose populations, but I haven’t been able to find out anything about this. If anyone knows what the tags mean, let us know in the comments.

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Below is a video of the moose.

Furry Friday – Coyote family at Kinbrook Island Provincial Park

This family of coyotes was seen by David Pugh and I on our Alberta Big Day stalking some waterfowl on this pond at the entrance to Kinbrook Island Provincial Park. Luckily, they were still there a week later when I returned there in refuge from the flooding here in Calgary. They were quite fun to watch, and didn’t seem to mind having their photos taken!

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Coyote Pups taking a break
Pentax K-5 + Sigma 150-500@500mm
1/1600sec., f/6.3, ISO 400

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Coyote Family at Kinbrook Island Provincial Park
Pentax K-5 + Sigma 150-500@500mm
1/1000sec., f/6.3, ISO 250

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Eldest of the coyote pups
Pentax K-5 + Sigma 150-500@500mm
1/1000sec., f/6.3, ISO 250

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The eldest pup is stalking her prey…
Pentax K-5 + Sigma 150-500@500mm
1/1600sec., f/6.3, ISO 400

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Adult Male coyote seen a little while later on the wildlife trail
Pentax K-5 + Sigma 150-500@500mm
1/500sec, f/6.3, ISO 320

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The eldest pup decides she might as well just wait for takeout…
Pentax K-5 + Sigma 150-500@500mm
1/1600sec., f/6.3, ISO 320

Furry Friday: Porcupine

This North American Porcupine was spotted feeding on a Water Birch on the Inglewood Golf Course during the Calgary Christmas Bird Count on December 16, 2012.

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Photo by Troy Bourque

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Photo by Ian Neilson

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Photo by Ian Neilson

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Photo by Troy Bourque