Monthly Archives: June 2014

Birds of Yukon: The Northern Flicker

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This bird of colourful stripes is a male Northern Flicker. (Colaptes Autarus) They’re a species of woodpecker.

The Peterson guide says it’s known for “sometimes awkwardly hopping on the ground feeding on ants.”

The Northern Flicker has a very bright and bold colour accents: A red triangle on the back of its head and black stripes on the sides of its face.


Bear on the roadside near Haines Junction


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This bear was spotted outside of Haines Junction.

I thought it was a grizzly bear but in fact it’s a black bear.

It was eating dandelions by the roadside only a few minutes after the end of the Kluane Chilkat International Bike Relay which happened today.

The 250km relay takes place near Kluane National Park which is a place of great beauty and wildlife.

SAFETY NOTE: I took these photos using a 300mm zoom, from inside a car with the windows rolled up. I did not bother the bear and drove quickly away when I had snapped a few pictures.

Note the identifying mark of an injury over its left eye.

Birds of Yukon: The crow

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It can be hard to tell the difference but I believe these might be crows and not ravens.

They seemed a little smaller and rounder than the usual tough-looking ravens you see around here.

They were photographed in Skagway Alaska.

A walk in the sand: The Carcross desert



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Outside of Carcross Yukon there are many acres of sand. The region is called the Carcross desert.  It’s a strange feature: A patch of sand surrounded by water and lush forest.

The two last photos show blueberries which were growing in the desert.

Road work

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Yukon is roughly the size of California with a huge network of highways; some of the longest roads you’ll find in the world.

Long winters mean almost constant repairs of the asphalt during the short warm season.

The Skookum Jim Friendship centre

Skookum1 Skookum2 Skookum3Whitehorse has the Skookum Jim Friendship Centre which is a place for courses, workshops, youth activities, camps and various community-minded activities.

Friendship Centres are intended to promote aboriginal culture in urban settings. There are more than 116 across Canada. (Here is a link to a Wikipedia entry with more information)

The exterior of the Skookum Jim centre is decorated with some nice Northwest Coast Formline art.



Birds of Yukon: Three-toed woodpecker


A very loud cheep-cheep-cheep noise was coming from this tree. It was a constant noise like an alarm clock; no break at all.

A female three-toed woodpecker (Picoides tridactylus) appeared to feed a young male. (You cannot tell by the picture but the male has a yellow spot on its forehead.)