Hi and welcome to our weekly Bear Cam blog. We will be publishing this blog every week with a review of the previous weeks Bear Cam highlights. Brought to you by your bear cam Mods, LaniH and GABear. This weeks highlight video can be viewed here.
This week, we continued to see the August slow down in both salmon and bears seen. In the last couple years, this was less noticeable and more bears stayed around, but as this Blog from Katmai Terrane in 2014 notes, August typically has very few bears.
Many have remarked at the low water levels at the falls. Here is gif showing images of the falls from 2016 through 2019 showing the water level changing each year. Along with the addition of the logs ;).
We are lucky that we are still seeing a few sub adults and adults regularly this August. We’re looking forward to seeing more bears return in the next couple weeks. The lack of adult bears has meant subadults like 909, 812, 821 and 910 have had a chance to fish spots they normally would be displaced from.
708 and her cubs were the only sow and cubs seen this week, hanging out in the Lower River. Her cubs seemed to have fun playing “King of the Root Ball” in the Lower River.
Sub adults 821 and 902 also played with the same root ball a couple of times this week. They seemed to be trying to dislodge it from the river bottom or maybe some salmon scraps are trapped inside. Whichever the reason it has kept the subadults occupied for quite a while.
One subadult climbed to the top of the root ball that they had successfully flipped over only to have it slowly tip back over. The bear did a dive back into the water.
909 really stretches over the lip trying to get a fish. She also lost a fish over the edge and hurried down below the lip to find it again.
909 is seen here standing on a part of the falls we wouldn’t normally see in a season when the water levels weren’t so low.
821 also showed us another area that bears are able to stand on the falls with this years lower water levels. Bear 812 scared him and he climbed down on the falls near the jacuzzi. Chatters thought he might climb all the way down.
Logs at the falls were popular this week:
An unknown bear found a log handy for getting quickly from the lip to below the falls.
812 spent some time redecorating with the log in the far pool. He dragged it a couple of times and enjoyed playing with it and seeming to chew on it other times.
Adult Female 284 had a few words of warning for sub adult 812 one day.
Adult Female 854 Divot had a small kerfuffle with a sub adult who got too close to her space.
747 has put in an appearance most days. He is incredibly large and fat for an August bear! It’s hard to imagine what he will look like by October when he will for sure be a contender for Fat Bear Week!
The feathered wildlife continues to enjoy the salmon bounty, too. Late last week, we saw this gull channeling its inner Osprey making a great attempt to dive to get scraps from below the surface of the river.
The underwater cam caught a Merganser diving to get scraps. We don’t know what caused the momentary black out of the background, but it made for a really neat highlight for the Merganser.
Falls cam has also caught some great views of eagles perched in a tree near the falls platform.
Nature put on a show for us both day and night. There were some amazing views of the sunrise and sunset from both the Dumpling and Lower River cams.
Even after dark, the moon gave us a great view.
In a little “blast from the past”, a chatter posted this short Explore Documentary Film from six years ago. It shows Explore’s Charlie Annenberg getting a tour of Brooks from Former Katmai Ranger Roy Wood. We enjoyed seeing it again and thought we’d share if for those who weren’t watching back then.
Are You There Brown Bear
Mike Fitz has launched a Community Science Project where your snapshot can help monitor information about the bears you see on the cams.
This community science project will supplement the Brooks River bear monitoring program by recording observations of bears during and outside official monitoring sessions, essentially extending one aspect of the bear monitoring program through an entire summer and beyond as long as the webcams are functioning.
To participate: After taking a Snapshot, click on “Community Science” below the snapshot.
Learn about Katmai Bears Fishing styles from Explore resident naturalist Mike Fitz
Bearcam viewer Survey
Just how important is an individual animal? How might the famous bearcam bears influence conservation efforts? Please help us answer those questions and more by taking this survey.
The 2019 Bears of Brooks River ebook is available for downloading here