View Full Version : Calgary - Alberta - Canada - eagles

01-10-2010, 12:36 PM
I was out at Beaver Dam Flats yesterday in Calgary and on top of the ridge there were 4 bald eagles (and tons of ravens) playing in the warm Chinook air currents that were sweeping from the lower river valley up and over the lynwood ridge. The eagles were fighting in mid air also. Please note that it is really windy so a tripod might be in order...lol....unfortunately I didn't realize it until i got home and my stabilizer wasn't even helpful.:headslap:
I took some shots but none of them really turned out :wall-an: but if anyone else wants to give it a go then headup there...you will be impressed with what see.. especially as long as the Chinook holds....Just a thought. :)

Mad Aussie
01-11-2010, 02:42 AM
Surprized no one has responded and headed up there.

What exactly is a Chinook?? I've only ever known a Chinook as a large, dual bladed helicopter usually used for military purposes.

01-11-2010, 07:41 AM
Chinook winds, often called chinooks, commonly refers to foehn winds[1] in the interior West of North America, where the Canadian Prairies and Great Plains meet various mountain ranges, although the original usage is in reference to wet, warm coastal winds in the Pacific Northwest.[2]
Chinook is falsely claimed by popular mythology in Alberta and Montana and similar inland areas to mean "snow-eater" but it is really the name of a people in the region where the usage was first derived. The reference to a wind or weather system, simply "a Chinook", originally meaning a warming wind from the ocean into the interior regions of the Pacific Northwest (the Chinook people lived near the ocean, along the lower Columbia River). A strong Chinook can make snow one foot deep almost vanish in one day. The snow partly melts and partly evaporates in the dry wind. Chinook winds have been observed to raise winter temperature, often from below −20C (−4F) to as high as 10C to 20C (50F to 68F) for a few hours or days, then temperatures plummet to their base levels. The greatest recorded temperature change in 24 hours was caused by Chinook winds on January 15, 1972, in Loma, Montana; the temperature rose from -48C (-56F) to 9C (49F).
The Chinook is a foehn wind, a rain shadow wind which results from the subsequent adiabatic warming of air which has dropped most of its moisture on windward slopes (orographic lift). As a consequence of the different adiabatic rates of moist and dry air, the air on the leeward slopes becomes warmer than equivalent elevations on the windward slopes.
As moist winds from the Pacific (also called Chinooks) are forced to rise over the mountains, the moisture in the air is condensed and falls out as precipitation, while the air cools at the moist adiabatic rate of 5C/1000 m (3.5F/1000 ft). The dried air then descends on the leeward side of the mountains, warming at the dry adiabatic rate of 10C/1000m (5.5F/1000 ft).[5]
The turbulence of the high winds also can prevent the normal nocturnal temperature inversion from forming on the lee side of the slope, allowing night-time temperatures to remain elevated.[5]
Quite often when the Pacific Northwest coast is being drenched by rain, the windward side of the Rockies is being hammered by snow (as the air loses its moisture), and the leeward side of the Rockies in Alberta is basking in a foehn chinook. The three different weather conditions are all caused by the same flow of air, hence the confusion over the use of the name "Chinook wind".
Two common cloud patterns seen during this time are:
A chinook arch overhead and/or a bank of clouds (also referred to as a cloud wall) obscuring the mountains to the west. It appears to be an approaching storm, but does not advance any further east.

01-11-2010, 07:46 AM
It is also known as a type of Pacific salmon...aka Spring salmon.

The chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, (derived from Russian чавыча), is a species of anadromous fish in the salmon family and is the family's largest member. It is a Pacific Ocean salmon and is variously known as the king salmon, tyee salmon, Columbia River salmon, black salmon, chub salmon, hook bill salmon, winter salmon, Spring Salmon, Quinnat Salmon and blackmouth. Chinook salmon are typically divided into "races" with "spring chinook", "summer chinook", and "fall chinook" being most common. Races are determined by the timing of adult entry into fresh water. A "winter chinook" run is recognized in the Sacramento River.
Chinook salmon are highly valued, due in part to their scarcity relative to other Pacific salmon along most of the Pacific coast.

01-11-2010, 07:54 AM
Really wish I could go there. But it's not going to happen anytime soon...

01-11-2010, 08:08 AM
Here's a couple of shots...really crappy I know but it gives the jist of what was going on. Really, really hard to handhold at 300mm in that wind and try and stay upright..also I have a fear of heights so being on the edge of the windy ridge didn't help either...lol!
It was an unexpected surprise to see them. :)
These eagles are juveniles...I saw one adult in the mix.

01-11-2010, 08:48 AM
wish I could come! My photo club is talking about doing a field trip over to the valley to see the eagles. I'm thinking I might need a different lens if I want to get any good shots....

Mad Aussie
01-11-2010, 02:51 PM
Thanks for that Chinook explanation. Confusing. I guess it primarily refers to warm winds huh?

I'd forgotten about the Chinook Salmon .... seen them on documentaries.

01-11-2010, 03:01 PM
I guess the easy way to describe it is the cold rainclouds bump up and dump on the western side of the mountain (thanks Vancouver :thumbup:)and then dry out and form warm drying winds on the eastern side. It can go from -25C to +10C in a couple of hours.
I always ask my parents in Victoria when we talk if it is raining when we have a Chinook and they always say it is....usually heavily.

01-11-2010, 04:33 PM
I'd forgotten about the Chinook Salmon .... seen them on documentaries.

Seen them on my plate stuffed with shrimp.

01-12-2010, 08:15 PM
I see them when I drive home on the Deerfoot Casil. They are never there when the traffic is stopped every evening rush hour.

03-22-2010, 07:49 PM
A few of the great many parks in Calgary...these ones are fairly easy access by bus or bike or foot using the bike paths
I Google mapped them also.

Pearce Estates Park and Inglewood Bird Sanctuary
Great place to catch birds in the summer and spring. Inglewood also has lots of deer as well. Easy to get to by bicycle..heading east form city center. No hills and a really nice ride along the river from town. Admission is free as well.

Edworthy Park and Douglas Fir Trail
I go here often in the summer. It too is along the river bike paths heading west from the city center there are some really great meadows to catch wildflowers, butterflies and dragonflies in Lawrey gardens on the way. I've also taken some cool shots of birds there as well. get off the bike, lock it up and head up the side of the ravine into the Douglas fir trial...lots of stairs and flora there...I've seen neat mushrooms in there and it is a really pretty urban hike....it's a great place to hike also if it's a hot day as the shade from the fir canopy is welcoming.

Reader Rock Garden:
I love Reader Rock Garden in the spring and summer. The flowers that grow there are amazing! Lots of little bridges and babbling brooks as well. Easy to get to by foot, bike or transit, it is located just south of Stampede park. I could and have spent the better part of many and afternoon there just shooting all the flower varieties. The iris collection is stunning. :)
Also the cemetary is right next door so there are lots of neat headstones to capture as well.

Will add more as I go and have time. :)