Canadian Rockies and Glacier National Park (Montana, USA)

Glacier National Park 7/24-25/13

All photos are Marshall Faintich

Along the way from Buffalo Jump, I saw a few Western Meadowlarks on fenceposts along the highway. We stopped for lunch at the Prince of Wales Hotel in Waterton National Park. I was impressed by the scenic beauty, and at the same time, a bit disappointed by the scarcity of birds. I saw a few Canada Geese and three Tundra Swans in one of the lakes, and we passed an Osprey nest on the way there.

Waterton National Park

Tundra Swans

And then the fun started. A short distance before the U.S. border, the traffic stopped in front of us. A large Black Bear ran across the road and jump over the guard rail.

Black Bear

A few moments later, two cubs ran across the road, but they chose to go under the guard rail.

Black Bear cubs

A minute later, we saw another Black Bear on the side of the road.

Black Bear

And then, the fifth Black Bear in just a few minutes appeared.

Black Bear

Black Bear

Black Bear

As we approached the border, there was a sign warning us about bears. Perhaps it should have been posted a few miles earlier.

Black Bear

We arrived at Many Glacier Hotel in Glacier National Park late that afternoon. There were a few Common Mergansers in the lake, and a few of us took a hike around the lake. The hotel looked a lot better from the outside than from the inside, and it was the only lodging during the tour that did not meet our expectations. I saw a few birds on this afternoon's hike, but most of them were quick views of small birds in the brush that I could not identify. Only a Cedar Waxwing sat in the open for a few photos.

Many Glacier Hotel

Many Glacier scenery

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing


The next morning there was a Common Goldeneye on the lake, and I saw a Robin-sized bird sitting in a tree. Unfortunately, I was looking almost directly into the sun, and couldn't get a good look at it or good photos of it. My best guess is that it is a juvenile Brown Cowbird, but it looked too large, and its body shape looked more like that of a dove, so any help with the identification would be appreciated. A juvenile Black-headed Grosbeak or some finch species are also possibilities.

Common Goldeneye

Unidentified bird

After breakfast, our tour group took boat rides on both lakes. I got good views of Common Mergansers on the first lake and a Common Loon on the second lake. The scenery was great.

Male Common Merganser

Female Common Merganser

Common Loon

Many Glacier scenery

Many Glacier scenery

Our tour group hiked on mostly level terrain. Other groups of hikers were more adventurous and hiked steep trails to various summits. Unfortunately, that morning, one of these hikers fell from a steep trail and did not survive the fall.


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