Milbert's Tortoiseshell


Calgary & the Rockies
Aug 1-5, 2003
- narrated by Henry Detwiler

A trip with Suzanne to visit our friends Al & Helga in their summer home--Calgary, Alberta! 
94 species total

Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.

Canada Geese

Richardson's Ground Squirrel

The geese and the ground squirrels could well serve as the  mascots of Calgary, although we definitely saw more squirrels than geese.  They would whistle their shrill warnings in clearings from Calgary all the way up to the high tundra.
On Monday afternoon we hiked up the steep and winding Ptarmigan Cirque trail.  The fabulous wildflowers and scenery made it all worthwhile, and we were entertained by many ground squirrels and pikas.


Al, Henry, Helga, & Suzanne

Rocky Mountain Sheep
Over the course of our wanderings we got excellent looks at several lambs and a number of ewes.  Unfortunately, the rams were not to be found.

The Gray Jays were almost as numerous as the nutcrackers, and they too frequented picnic areas, looking for handouts and unguarded food tidbits. 

Gray Jay


Gray-crowned Rosy Finch

Gray-crowned Rosy Finches
Up on the Ptarmigan Cirque trail I headed overland to find the elusive White-tailed Ptarmigans--instead I found a flock of the beautiful tortoiseshell butterflies.  By the time I returned from my trek, Helga had spotted the first of several rosy finches.  They were remarkably tame, and we were able to watch as they fed their full-grown young!

Another  beast which had hungry mouths to feed was the Pika.  It  would scurry out from under the rocks, fill its pouch with seeds, and then scamper back to its nest.  I was lucky to get this shot.


Grizzly cub & sow
As we drove south of Ptarmigan Cirque, we noticed a number of cars on the side of the highway.  We pulled over and were thrilled to see a sow and cub grizzly about 1/2 mile up on the mountainside.  They were rooting & digging in the meadows, searching out roots--or perhaps ground squirrels?

The final morning we spent more time along Fish Creek, and were happy to see a number of downy-looking juvenile Cedar Waxwings.  All too soon we had to fly back to toasty Yuma--but thanks to our wonderful hosts Al & Helga, we plan to return!

Juvenile Cedar Waxwing

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Calgary and the Canadian Rockies, 1-5 Aug 2003

# Species
1 Common Loon
2 Eared Grebe
3 Double-crested Cormorant
4 Great Blue Heron
5 Canada Goose
6 Wood Duck
7 Blue-winged Teal
8 Mallard
9 Northern Shoveler
10 Bufflehead
11 Common Goldeneye
12 Barrow's Goldeneye
13 Common Merganser
14 Osprey
15 Swainson's Hawk
16 Red-tailed Hawk
17 American Kestrel
18 Sora
19 American Coot
20 Killdeer
21 Greater Yellowlegs
22 Lesser Yellowlegs
23 Solitary Sandpiper
24 Spotted Sandpiper
25 Semipalmated Sandpiper
26 Long-billed Dowitcher
27 Wilson's Snipe
28 Franklin's Gull
29 Ring-billed Gull
30 California Gull
31 Black Tern
32 Rock Dove
33 Mourning Dove
34 Common Nighthawk
35 Ruby-throated Hummingbird
36 Rufous Hummingbird
37 Belted Kingfisher
38 Lewis' Woodpecker
39 Downy Woodpecker
40 Three-toed Woodpecker
41 Northern Flicker
42 Western Wood Pewee
43 Least Flycatcher
44 Cordilleran Flycatcher
45 Western Kingbird
46 Eastern Kingbird
47 Gray Jay
# Species
48 Blue Jay
49 Clark's Nutcracker
50 Black-billed Magpie
51 American Crow
52 Common Raven
53 Tree Swallow
54 Violet-green Swallow
55 Bank Swallow
56 Cliff Swallow
57 Barn Swallow
58 Black-capped Chickadee
59 Mountain Chickadee
60 Boreal Chickadee
61 Red-breasted Nuthatch
62 House Wren
63 Winter Wren
64 American Dipper
65 Golden-crowned Kinglet
66 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
67 Western Bluebird
68 Townsend's Solitaire
69 Hermit Thrush
70 American Robin
71 Gray Catbird
72 European Starling
73 Cedar Waxwing
74 American Redstart
75 Common Yellowthroat
76 Yellow-rumped Warbler
77 Yellow Warbler
78 Orange-crowned Warbler
79 Western Tanager
80 Chipping Sparrow
81 Clay-Colored Sparrow
82 Savannah Sparrow
83 Song Sparrow
84 White-crowned Sparrow
85 Dark-eyed Junco
86 Red-winged Blackbird
87 Yellow-headed Blackbird
88 Brown-headed Cowbird
89 Gray-crowned Rosy Finch
90 Purple Finch
91 White-winged Crossbill
92 Pine Siskin
93 American Goldfinch
94 House Sparrow


Photos Henry D. Detwiler