Grizzly sow & cubs


I have often seen Grizzly Bears at this time of year, so I keep my eyes open for them. Although grizzlies are omnivores, I have usually seen them eating plants.

There were three Grizzly Bears: a sow and two cubs (probably in their second year). Photo by Cynthia Fraser.

It was a delightful sighting, for not only were they close, they were feasting among wild flowers that looked like larkspur. Now larkspur is somewhat poisonous to humans, but I don’t know whether it is for grizzlies. Nevertheless, the bears were ignoring the flowers. 

Rather, a clue to their activity was their long claws. They used them for digging for roots. Photo by Finn Grathwol. 

Here is one of the cubs digging in the ground. I have been told that they are after cow parsnips which apparently has nutritious roots until the plant sprouts. Photo by Cynthia.

There seemed to be a rather large amount of scratching going on. Photo by Cynthia.

One of the cubs. Photo by Finn.

Another cub that was unreasonably close.


This entry was posted in mammals. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Grizzly sow & cubs

  1. denyse says:

    Wow, these are really astonishing!

  2. Wow! Awesome. Grizzlies aren’t common around here.

  3. Colleen Scissons says:

    Thank you so much for these photos! So much joy to look at the photos you took!

  4. Raphaël says:

    Absolutely stunning photos.

  5. R Parfeniuk says:

    Beautiful photos, prize winning in my opinion!

  6. Karen Pidcock says:

    Oh thanks Alistair & Cynthia for capturing these magnificent creatures up close & so focused!! My visiting daughter from Nanaimo with me and I have greatly enjoyed!!

  7. Sybille says:

    Hi Alastair. Thanks to you, Cynthia and Finn for some fantastic photos. I wanted to make a couple of comments about your botany. Grizzlies love to eat cow parsnip but it certainly did not look like a suitable site for cow parsnips as they only grow in deep rich soils not in thin rocky soils. Also I believe they typically feast on the stems and other above-ground parts of the cow parsnip which would certainly have been visible in your photo at this time of year. I believe they were foraging on the bulbs (corms) of the avalanche lily which are a favorite grizzly food and look to be present at our left on the 4th photo. Another favorite root food is sweet-vetch or Hedysarum a legume with many small peashoot-like leaflets that I don’t see on the photo but which certainly would be in full leaf when the larkspurs are blooming. What a treat and I hope you were able to view them from the safety of your vehicle.

    • Alistair says:

      Sybille, Thank you. Curiously, I had secretly hoped that someone would comment on the cow parsnips and provide me with some context (I am not a botanist.). You’ve done it superbly. I have read it (and will) read it a number of times to absorb what you have said.

  8. Gail Frampton says:

    Happy Birthday Alistair! Ken and Arlene told me quite awhile ago! You are only 4 days older than me! Love the photos as always. Gail

Comments are closed.