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jessfindlay jessfindlay

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Jess Findlay  24 | Nature Photographer | Vancouver, BC, Canada • Follow my travels as I explore wild places seeking wildlife.

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A male Black Bear, likely weighing between 400-500 pounds, at rest in the intertidal zone while taking a break from fishing for salmon.
I've been fortunate to spend a lot of time around many dozens of bears over the last several years; learning to read their body language and to constantly keep watch for signs of stress and aggression. This has allowed for some memorable close encounters - keeping both the bear's and my own safety in mind.

Not once during my time around bears have I ever felt threatened. Yet sadly, all over the world, these wonderful animals are misunderstood, and subsequently, persecuted.

Though I don't recommend getting this close to a wild bear, I strongly encourage you all to read up on these incredibly interesting animals, learn how to safely explore bear country, or better yet, seek out an opportunity to see them for yourself.

I've just spent several days at a river mouth on Vancouver Island, immersed in the world of Black Bears. Attracted by the promise of their most important food source - spawning salmon - multiple bears returned day after day, feeding on Pinks and Cohos that made their way upstream. @connorstefanison and I were fortunate enough to get to know the unique personalities and temperaments of many bears. Before too long, we had become a part of their landscape, as they approached and hunted just a few metres away. By far my favourite aspect of wildlife photography is when patience and the willingness to enter the seldom visited realm of animals is rewarded with intimate moments such as this. Looking forward to sharing more images with you!

Having gathered landslide debris and soot from distant wildfires, the imperfect surfaces of snowfields in British Columbia's Coast Mountains harbour incredible beauty beneath. Here's a photograph I took yesterday, during a backpacking trip in the rugged peaks north of Squamish. Though navigating these passages by headlamp alongside turbulent creeks in near darkness can be a bit unnerving, I feel a strange sense of calm in these inherently dangerous tunnels and caves.

In the Cascade Mountains of southwestern British Columbia, subalpine larch and cascade bilberry set the slopes ablaze with their vibrant autumn colours. Fall is just around the corner and I can't wait to take in more of this spectacular scenery in my local mountains!

The adorably disproportionate Common Tody-Flycatcher. Photographed above its nest-in-progress in the Caribbean Lowlands of Costa Rica.

Using a telephoto lens and extension tubes which allowed me to focus from just a couple metres away, I created this abstract shot of a sleeping Common Pauraque in South Texas. These nocturnal birds rely on their amazing camouflage to keep them safe during the day, while roosting amongst leaf litter in the forest understory. This image was awarded in the 2014 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition and was shown in the London Natural History Museum.

An Andean Motmot perched on a hanging vine in the rainforest of Peru's Manu National Park.

This incredible hummingbird is the Ecuadorian Hillstar. Inhabiting the high elevation grasslands that flank Ecuador's many volcanoes; an ecosystem known as the páramo, they eke out a living at elevations upwards of 5,000m. To survive the cold temperatures of this landscape, these birds recede into small rocky caves and crevices at night, where they enter "torpor" - a state of decreased physiological activity. Their metabolic rate and heart rate drop significantly, allowing them to conserve enough energy to make it until morning. As the sun rises and the air warms, their bodies shiver until their internal temperature returns to its normal 40c. Seen here is a male, perched atop its staple food source: the Chuquiraga flower. The nectar of this plant is his fuel. It's truly amazing to see these birds, whose impressive adaptions allow them to monopolize a food source where few other creatures can survive!

Right around the time adult loons start to use the dump truck technique to get rid of their fluffy little freeloaders.

On a cold winter evening in the mountains of Wyoming, a Coyote curls up to the warmth of its tail beneath stormy sunset skies.

With three chicks tucked beneath her, a female Great Grey Owl receives a prey delivery from her mate; in this case, a Meadow Vole. This process takes all but a few seconds. Once the male deftly passes along his hard-earned meal (always with his eyes closed) back out he goes to begin the hunt all over again. This photo was taken this spring when I spent over a week about 50 feet up a Douglas fir, sitting in a blind built by myself and @connorstefanison. Documenting this family of owls in the BC wilderness is up there in my most memorable wildlife experiences. I've yet to work through my best images, but I look forward to sharing those with you all at a later date!

A Short-eared Owl resting atop a drift log on the foreshore of British Columbia's Fraser River Delta.

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