People & Culture

Fowl play on the Yukon River

  • Jul 07, 2012
  • 269 words
  • 2 minutes
Expand Image
Advertisement

Last Wednesday, I paddled on 31-mile long Lake Lebarge, which was made famous in a poem by Robert Service called The Cremation of Sam McGee.

An Arctic tern buzzed over me at very low altitude at one point. When he turned and did it again, I got the message that I must be close to his nest, so I paddled quickly away. Arctic terns are beautiful birds: sleek and fast, which helps them with all of their circumglobal flying each year.

I’ve seen lots of bald eagles too, adults and immature ones. The young ones are still very big, but don’t have the distinctive white heads and tail. Shortly after getting the very low flyby from the Arctic tern, an immature bald eagle approached my canoe from straight ahead and at about 100 metres altitude. His wingspan was well over a metre. He drew nearer and nearer, then suddenly dove right down at me. For a second, I thought he was going to hit me, but then suddenly he turned away, hugging the waves.

If he could’ve done a victory roll, I’m sure he would’ve.

That just proves that even eagles have their juvenile delinquence.

Thursday I got off Lake Lebarge and paddled the 30-mile (48-kilometre) section of the Yukon River, which is a Canadian Heritage river. My trip continues.

Allen Macartney is completing a solo trip on the Yukon River to retrace the route of prospectors in the days of the Klondike gold rush. Read more of his blog posts and learn about his Royal Canadian Geographical Society-funded expedition.

Advertisement

Related Content

Environment

I am Mutehekau Shipu: A river’s journey to personhood in eastern Quebec

In February 2021, the world was introduced to Mutehekau Shipu — also known as the Magpie River — when the people of Ekuanitshit, Que. and the regional municipality made a joint declaration granting the river legal personhood and rights. The declaration carries broad implications for the fight to protect nature across Canada and around the world.

  • 3623 words
  • 15 minutes

People & Culture

Kahkiihtwaam ee-pee-kiiweehtataahk: Bringing it back home again

The story of how a critically endangered Indigenous language can be saved

  • 6310 words
  • 26 minutes

Environment

Q&A: A Canadian river conservation leader on protecting our waterways

Mark Angelo, founder of BC Rivers Day and World Rivers Day, shares insights on his love of rivers, his forthcoming film and what can be done to protect the planet’s waterways

  • 1092 words
  • 5 minutes
The Liard River

Environment

“It’s at the very core of everything”: The significance of Canada’s wild rivers

Only a third of the world’s rivers longer than 1,000 kilometres remain free-flowing. In North America, 70 per cent of those are in Canada. Meet some of the people who want to keep it that way

  • 1411 words
  • 6 minutes