Black vs Grizzly bear – who is who?

I’ve been lucky enough in the past 3 summers to immerse myself in nature and to do this with an expert in wildlife, my boyfriend.

Since seeing my first bear in 2009, it has been my mission to pick out the difference between a black bear and grizzly bear, as other tourists would often shout out that they have just seen a grizzly bear, when, in fact – it was a black bear.

There are a few key differences to help differentiate between the two:

1. Black bears have a straight snout, while grizzlies have a dished in snout/face profile.

2. Black bears do not have a pronounced shoulder hump, while grizzlies do.

3. Black bears ears stick out more, grizzlies are less pronounced.

4. Black bears have shorter claws, you can definitely see grizzlies light long claws a lot more clearly.

5. Black bears, for the most part are much smaller than grizzlies.

Guess the bear – black or grizzly:

Bear #1

Yellowstone National Park

Bear #2

Yellowstone National Park

Bear #3

Yellowstone National Park

Bear #4

Yellowstone National Park

Bear #5

Waterton, Alberta

Bear #6

Waterton, Alberta

Bear #7

Kananaskis, Alberta


#1 – Grizzly #2 – Black Bear #3 – Grizzly #4 – Black Bear #5 – Black Bear #6 – Black Bear #7 – Grizzly

How did you do?

PS – Read my view on wildlife photography.

Photo: You Otter Like This!

Sorry for the title.

These otters (there were four of them) were so entertaining this summer at Trout Lake in Yellowstone National Park. More story to come – I am hoping to have my boyfriend ‘guest blog’ for these lil guys. He was so impressed and inspired by them.

Please also vote for the featured scene for the header of my blog! I’ll tally the votes next Monday.

Point Pelee National Park, Ontario Canada

by Guest Blogger Dave Cooper

Part One…

Point Pelee National Park lies in Essex County in Southwestern Ontario near Leamington and tapers to a point as it extends into Lake Erie. Residing on the 42nd Parallel North, Point Pelee National Park shares this latitude with the Island of Corsica, France; Rome, Italy; Jilin in the People’s Republic of China; the Oregon-California border and the New York-Pennsylvania border in the United States.

Originally inhabited by indigenous people from AD 700 and many centuries later shared  with Europeans Settlers, subsequently, the Chippewa people were forced from this area and this land remains unceded indigenous land. Point Pelee was made a national park in 1918 by the urging of bird watchers and hunters.


The point is part of a series of stepping stones across Lake Erie for the great migration of over 360 species of birds as well as butterflies and dragon flies every spring and fall. Lake Erie moderates the temperatures here by cooling more slowly than the surrounding land but the point still experiences warm humid summers and cold winters. The record high temperature here was recorded at 34.5C or 91.1F and the record low was  -27C or 16.6F.

On my visit here on October 5th 2012 I saw only four monarch butterflies and very few birds, only the hawks, bluejays and these wild turkeys, which stay here year round.


Canada’s most southern point of land has many walking trails, from beach walks to boardwalks to broad paved roads. One path took us to an abandoned cemetery, last used in the early 1900s.


Copyright ©Dave Cooper 2012.   Visit

Sparrow vs Grizzly Bear…who wins?

I don’t know about this fight. I think I will give it to the sparrow. I saw this griz in Yellowstone N.P. on the road between Norris and Mammoth this summer.

Absolutely hilarious action broke out, while trying to learn my new camera. This lil sparrow  (not totally sure the type of bird) came out of nowhere and started attacking this griz, while he was peacefully grazing along the river.

The sparrow successfully moved him away from – a possible nest?…as the griz moved back and over the hills in a sort of defeatist gait.

(I have many more, totally blurry photographs, but they were so terrible because my manual focus was in play, and it was dusk – turning into a pitch black evening). But what a show!

awww no, go away!

How Canadian….in Wyoming.

This guy was found munching away on leaves with his pal, another bull moose even bigger than him, in Grand Teton National Park.

The loud construction on the road about 20 feet away, and the crowd of 30-ish tourists didn’t seem to bother these dudes very much.

Absolutely idiodic

Watch this video.

It’s a “what not to do when encountering wildlife” video.

Something that I have witnessed, but not to such a degree.

And, what? The father laughs at the end? Don’t worry, Yellowstone is just a circus. You won’t ACTUALLY feel it when the bison gores you and seriously injures or kills your child. THAT IS SARCASTIC by the way.

It’s unbelievable. A few years ago, a child was killed by a bison when the father thought it was an a-ok idea to place his kid on the bison’s back for a good point-and-shoot picture.

Listen to the rangers, the pamphlets, and the signs: STAY 25 YARDS AWAY FROM BISON.

I just talked (rationally) about this a few days ago. Sorry, but this was absolutely IDIOTIC!

Photograph: Thirsty Coyote

Jasper, Alberta

This guy was one of three coyotes on a very important mission to cross the road and get to the other side.

And that’s all they did, just to get a drink of water.