Liz Ciocea

Wildlife Trees

Wildlife Trees

Wildlife trees are one of the most valuable ecological components of forested areas. Did you know that wildlife trees provide feeding, nesting, denning, and shelter habitat for 80 species of birds, mammals and amphibians in BC? Often after hard winters …

Cheerful Chickadees

With their white cheeks, dark caps and throats, Chestnut-backed Chickadees (poecile rufescens) look similar to Black-capped Chickadees. However the caps of Chestnut-backs are brown rather than black, and their backs, shoulders, and sides are a deep chestnut color. They …

Black-Tailed Deer (Part 1 of a 2)

Gabriola is home to a vibrant and very visible community of Black-tailed Deer. An old species, Black-tails have been around for over two million years. They are found on the coast of British Columbia and on most of the coastal …

Black-Tailed Deer (Part 2 of a 2)

Deer are ruminants with complex digestive systems. Their stomachs are divided into four chambers containing microorganisms that break down the vegetable matter they eat.

Ruminants are prey animals so they are able to eat quickly, swallow and when threatened run …

Harbour Seals

Harbour Seals (pinnipeds) are resident to B.C. waters year – round. They are found from Alaska to California but do not migrate and tend to stay in the area where they were born. Rocky outcroppings or beaches known as “haul-outs” …

California sea lion - foreheads have distinctive bony ridge and light fur patch

Sea Lions

Photos by Jason Beukens (Entrance Island Lighthouse Keeper)
(click on the images below for a larger version)

Two species of sea lions occur in British Columbia waters, the Steller’s and California sea lion. They belong to the family Otariidae or …

The Bald Eagle

The bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), is the only eagle that is unique to North America. The scientific name signifies a sea (halo) eagle (aeetos) with a white (leukos) head. At one time, the word "bald" meant "white," not hairless. …

Racoons

(click on the image below for a larger version)

Raccoons are among the most frequently encountered wildlife we see on Gabriola. The word raccoon is derived from the Algonquain name for this animal, “aroughcoune” which means “he scratches with his …

Skunk Cabbage

The Western Skunk Cabbage lysichiton americanum is found in many areas of Gabriola where there are streams, wet ditches, swamps, moist forests and mucky seepage spots. One of the few native species belonging to the Arum family it flowers in …

As Busy As a Beaver

The Beaver Caster Canadensis is an impressive and industrious mammal belonging to the rodent family. (The Capybara of South America is the only rodent larger than the Beaver.) The fur trade and the demand for beaver pelts opened up this …