Whether sifting through sand, or scrambling over a rocky shore, it's about finding treasures in every day. 

The Difference Between Robins and Seagulls

It’s winter, so I’m sorting through photos more than taking them. While doing that I noticed two photos that illustrate a behavior comparison of two bird species for me.

Robins and seagulls normally wouldn’t even be put in the same sentence. They enjoy different habitats. They don’t look anything alike or eat the same stuff. Both robins and seagulls fly, but that’s about it.

Robins are fun to have around. They are harbingers of spring, and seem to flit about cheerfully. Sometimes they even make a nest where we can see the babies get started.

Robin eggs in a nest

A-a-aw, so sweet.

Graceful seagull soaring

Seagulls can be enjoyable to watch. They’re graceful and pretty in the air.

But seagulls don’t have a great reputation.

There must be some more nice things that I can say about seagulls.




Well, they had prominent roles in the movie “Finding Nemo”. They said, “Mine! Mine! Mine!” a lot.

So this is what I think kind of sums up the difference between the two birds:

‘nuff said,

Alaska Beachcomber

More bird brained posts:

Crows and Ravens Love Dog Food

Pot Fishing for Crow


How Photographers Effect Wildlife. Part 2, Bear


Yep, that exclamation can cause a range of emotions in humans. Bears are big, fast, scary, edible, prized trophies, and complicated. When a photographer shows up in bear territory it also makes for some contemplation in bears - especially when spring bear hunting season is still open.

So let's see what this particular bear is thinking...

"M-m-m! Photographer for lunch again!"

"Armed with a Canon. No problem."

"I'll practice my catlike stealth."

"That's plenty of that. Time to close in."

"Uh-oh, now I remember. The last photographer I ate gave me indigestion bad. All those additives and preservatives made me see spots. And I got a memory card stuck in my teeth."

"You're off the hook this time, Photographer. Let this be a lesson to you."

Relieved to be intact,

Alaska Beachcomber

More wildlife stories, both serious and not: Alaskan Critters Menu

 Hey Folks,

After several people wrote in with concerns I feel that I should add a little P.S. on this post. It’s a story. (The “M-m-m, Photographer for lunch again!” line is supposed to set it up as somewhat silly.) While bears can be dangerous, this one never acted in a threatening way. I interrupted the bear’s backscratch-on-a-tree session. Despite that rude behavior on my part, the bear was polite, curious, and cautious. I was using a long lens, but the bear was concerned, so I was in it’s space - a mistake on my part.

A page on my other website about bear safety:

Hiking in Bear Country on VisitPOW.com

And thanks for the fun comments!! Keep ‘em coming!

Cute Chicks

At first all that I saw was this...

This spruce grouse hen could blend in with the moss pretty well if she wanted to, but she stuck her head up. She could have taken off at that point - flying or running, but she chose to sit tight.

I figured that it must be nap time for the kids and she was up for a little socializing, so I sat down to have a visit. She was happy about the great crop of bugs that were feasting on me, and she said that those bugs are healthy snacks for her kids. She told me that the tips on the blueberry bushes were starting to get too chewy, but the bunchberry blossoms are at a particularly tasty stage. All of this talk about food made me think of a delicious dinner with grouse and red huckleberry sauce, so I tried to steer the conversation to good looking guys. She told me all about one handsome bachelor in the neighborhood.

And she smiled at the thought. It's all in the eyes, see, because it's tough to smile with a beak.

We were about to get into some good girl-talk when one of the kids popped it's head up.

Then the other four woke up. They fluffed their feathers...

...and strutted their stuff...

Cute spruce grouse chick in Southeast Alaska

...and then turned into a whirlwind of activity.

Grouse chick in Southeast Alaska

Five Cute Chicks!

Grouse chicks on Prince of Wales Island in Southeast Alaska

Wait...that's barely four of them. Hey, you try to get grouse siblings together for a family portrait!

Here's the other one.

Grouse chick in Southeast Alaska

This one needed a little more of a nap. There's always one like that.

Then Mom Grouse said that it was time to go. I thanked her for the nice visit, and she looked a little wistful. Maybe someday we'll get a chance to talk again.

Wishing you a day of happy encounters,

Alaska Beachcomber

More bird posts...

Pot Fishing for Crow

Just Ducky

Crows and Ravens Love Dog Food

It Has Been a Little Bit Chilly

Owl Medivac