During the trip, we had chance encounters with other animals. Big Horn Sheep was the most anticipated one. The male’s enormous horns are fascinating and scary at the same time. Smaller animals like the Red Squirrel, Red-tailed Chipmunk, White-tailed Jackrabbit and American Pika were also a delight to observe in their natural habitat.
A juvenile Big Horn Sheep. We spotted a group with a large male, with a few females and juveniles that were crossing the road, provoking long lines of traffic!
It’s amazing to see this sheep climbing through steep, rocky terrain without losing control. The males battle with the horn is more amazing, but it was not the season to observe.
Females in general have small horns, and juveniles have even smaller ones. That does not mean they don’t inflict damage if they hit you!
White-tailed Jackrabbits are quite big in size, definitely bigger than the average cat. I spotted this one a mere block from the hotel in Calgary.
This hare species commonly occurs in grasslands, and the many parks in Calgary provide them with great habitat. Its hairy coat turns white during winter, to be better camouflaged against predators.
This Red-tailed Chipmunk was placidly eating some seeds and basking on the morning sun at the same time. It was chilly, so nice way to warm up.
Chipmunks in many places have become used to human presence, so much that we were about 15 people all surrounding it, and no sign of stress was seen.
Red Squirrel are also abundant, but are found mostly inside the pine forest. This one was photographed in Johnston Canyon.
The American Pika is a small member of the rodent family and can be very inconspicuous when resting motionless in the rocks.