A Free-Range
Photo Zoo

Hidden along the road system, many animals go un-noticed by people zooming from one place to another. The ridge below, just north of Denali National Park, had three mountain goats working its steep, rocky slopes. Although just white dots to the eye, my 600mm zoom lens could get almost close enough to the action. I had to use my wife for a shield as wind gusts over 30 m.p.h. really bumped me around. These young goats were butting heads when we stopped, but I couldn't get set up in time to catch the action.

Eagles can be seen in most areas of Alaska. The eagle below, am immature Bald Eagle, perches atop a tree along the Gulkana River. The brown plummage on his head will give way to the tell-tale white as he matures. (There are a couple more Eagle pictures on my Gulkana River Rafting page)

If you are watchful as you drive through the mountain regions of the Alaska Range, you are very likely to find Tundra Swans in isolated lakes and ponds. Below is one swan in center frame. You can see the head of the second swan between the grass and log at right. This was taken along the Tiekel River.

Tell-tale signs of spring and fall include the migration of waterfowl. Here the Canada geese are heading south before snow dusts their tail feathers. Birds usually arrive in mid-April and depart late August to early September.

Below, a cow moose feeds on willows across the Richardson highway from Eielson AFB, Alaska. She didn't leave when we stopped because her calf ran to the bushes to hide. Unfortunately, we couldn't get a picture of the calf, which was enjoying its first summer.

The most impressive moose are the bulls, sometimes with antler spreads of 60 inches or more. Here a nice bull, with his rack still in velvet, grazes in a meadow near Delta Junction, AK.

We have been talking to people around Detroit who are amazed that moose will walk right through our yards back in Fairbanks. In fact, moose even periodically roam in downtown Anchorage, Alaska's largest city. Here is a photo of a cow and calf walking across the road and then touring the rest of the neighborhood.

Over the short Alaskan summer, folks work hard tending garden spots to enjoy home-grown veggies. Each fall the moose come to the gardens they like and munch away. Here a cow dines on cabbage in the Pearson's garden.

The caribou population in Alaska is enormous, about twice the human population. Although you may never see the world-famous Porcupine herd, you are almost guaranteed to see caribou along the road. (All bets are off during hunting season)

More Animal Pictures

Index of Alaska Pictures