Fisher investigates bird feeder

A neighbour – Venton Beatty – from north and east of Erickson, Manitoba recently sent me some photos of a fisher (a member of the weasel family) investigating his bird feeder early this spring.

Fisher climbs poplar

Fisher climbs poplar to get seed from feeder

Fishers are increasingly common in the Riding Mountain National Park area. We have heard about several recent observations including a fisher that boldly came out of the aspen forests and snatched a sleeping elderly cat from its perch on the house deck. Neither the cat nor the fisher live to tell the, that’s another story!

In communication with Venton, he said ” we noticed it around noon on Friday, March 26 – it seemed to be mainly relaxing and looking around. And spent some time eating sunflower seeds. It stayed for about 20 – 30 minutes…”

As you can tell, it is a tree climber, and is a large cousin to the pine marten. Males are 90 – 120 cm in length (35 – 47 inches). A large, small mammal. They are omnivores and generalists, as this Fisher Wikipedia post will detail.

Thanks Venton, for passing on these images.

Fisher_riding mountain national park

Fisher on top of winter bird feeder

Riding Mountain Photo Safaris: During all seasons of the year, our Earth Rhythms guides will take you out into Riding Mountain National Park for short driving and walking photo safaris, gentle bike photo safaris, and snowshoeing to look for Riding Mountain’s birds, mammals, and evidence of their activities. Do join us!


October photo safari yields wildlife gems

I’ve had a couple of really delightful days with guests from California – discussing the implications of climate change policies, legislation, and tourism.   These wonderful folks had spent a few days in Churchill, Manitoba viewing polar bears and decided to come down to Riding Mountain National Park for a couple of days of wildlife viewing and photography.

While we were skunked on moose in the more accessible locations of travel, we did have quite a photo session with a beautiful Great Gray Owl in the middle of a light snowfall.


As well, we spotted a fisher (infrequent sightings), and had a few minutes to observe and photograph a badger.  A highlight was photographing snowflakes in the middle of a very thick snowfall and discovering some optical illusions reflected in the surface of water that were best captured with video.  A morning sunlight session today with bison topped off a great couple of days.

One of the things that was wonderful about working with these guests is that they understood that wildlife are not predictable.  They enjoyed the “zen of just being out there”, experiencing the landscape, the falling snow, bison behaviour, and the remarkable moments with the great gray owl, the fisher, and the badger.

Bison at Riding Mountain ©Celes Davar

Bison in morning sunlight