Brown or Grizzly Bears

Costal brown bears in Alaska can weigh up go 1500 pounds.  Males can live to age 25 years while females can live into their 30s.  Average liter size is 2 with a range of 1 to 4. Cubs stay with their mom for 2 to 4 years.


Brown bears dig a den in the fall and go in to hibernation.  Pregnant female bears will give birth in the den and nurse their babies for several months in the den before emerging in the spring.  Bears eat almost anything small mammals, moose, moths, nuts, berries, fruit, leaves, and roots. 


Brown bears are usually solitary unless with cubs.  However, during salmon runs, brown bears will congregate in large numbers and feast as much as 90 pounds of salmon a day.  During these gatherings, bear to bear interaction is fascinating and a pecking order is evident concerning prime fishing areas.  Brown bears can move quickly and run up to 30 miles an hour.


Sockeye or red salmon are a common salmon that spawn in the Pacific northwest.  The name "sockeye" refers to the term for red salmon in Halkomelem, the language of the indigenou people along the lower region of the Fraser River.  In Alaska, sockeye salmon spawn in August through October and then hatch in the spring and become fry or juveniles and live in larger lakes for two years.  They then migrate out to sea for 2 to 3 years and return to the stream from which they were born to spawn and die.  In Katmai National Park, the sockeye salmon weigh 5 to 7 pounds when they return.  Only small percentage survive the life cycle from egg to running the rivers and streams in returning to their spawning grounds. 

Brown Bears



Brown Bear Mom and Cubs


Brown Bear Mom

Nursing Four Cubs


Brown Bear

Catching Sockeye Salmon



Brown Bear Cubs



Brown Bear Cubs



Brown Bear Mom and Cubs



Brown Bear Cubs Standing



Brown Bear Fishing



Brown Bear


Brown Bears

Disagreeing



Sleeping Brown Bear



Brown Bear Cubs

Three of a Liter of Four


Brown Bear

Catching Sockeye Salmon



Brown Bear Cubs Grooming


Brown Bear Mom

with

Four Cubs



Brown Bear Mom and Cubs



Brown Bear Family



Brown Bear Snorkeling



Brown Bears


Brown Bears

Discussing Current Events



Brown Bear Itching

That's My Mom!


This grizzly bear cub looked back as me as to say "no worries, I am with my mom."  The photograph was taken in September 2018 in Denali National Park.

"Phew, What's that Smell?"


Actually, it was me! I was driving out of Denali National Park in my rental car when I spotted this grizzly bear. As I opened the window to take some photos, the grizzly lifted its head and began to sniff. I had not showered in 6 days and had been sleeping in a tent. Since grizzly bears can smell food 20 miles away, I am not sure what an stinky visitor smells like at 20 yards. In any event, the grizzly had no interest in me and resume eating thousands of blueberries and I went on my way out of the park and back to civilization. Until we meet again!

The photograph was taken in September 2018 in Denali National Park.

You can't outrun a grizzly bear and it is not wise to try!


Grizzly bears can run up to 40 mph, amazing for such a large animal. This female bear was not running after me but from another large male bear. When I am hiking with a camera or backpack, I average 2 miles an hour, no match for a grizzly bear. It is best to give them safe distance or to photograph from the safety of a vehicle. They deserve their space!" 

The photograph was taken in September 2018 in Denali National Park.

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