Most of the wildlife we encounter is seen along the
periphery of the Juneau Icefield. This small band of
mountain goats was grazing high on a slope above
a tarn lake. They soon crossed over the ridge and
headed down into the Ptarmigan Glacier valley on
the other side.
During a survey project to establish a new benchmark
on the top of a nearby nunatak, we happened upon
this mountain goat just below the summit.
Here's a duck that seems to like ice as much as
I do. This lake formed in a depression on the
surface of a glacier. Apparently, this duck didn't
seem to mind that the water was "ice" cold!
It's not uncommon to find the remains of birds
that became lost on the Icefield, such as this
former seagull. We've even found a dead lynx
in the middle of the Taku Glacier, miles
from the nearest patch of vegetation.
It's easy enough to understand
how a bird could be found on a glacier, but how about this
little fish? How in the world would a fish get on a glacier in
the middle of nowhere, miles from any stream, lake, or ocean? We
found this fish on the Bucher Glacier, 14 kilometers upglacier
from the terminus. Actually, it's pretty simple. A passing bird,
probably a bald eagle or a seagull, dropped the fish as it flew
over. For an idea of size, the lens cap is 77mm in diameter.
It's not all ice, snow, and rock on the Icefield.
Isolated, south-facing sheltered areas on some
nunataks can host quite lush colonies of plants,
such as these lupine, sedges, and heather.
Hummingbirds are often seen in areas such as this.
...and finally, every collection of wildlife photos needs
the requisite shot of the wide-ranging flamingo!