Tom VandenBerg, ranger at Glacier bay is no stranger to the wildlife surrounding the area. Though most think of giant mountains, deep fiords, and the glaciers; the wildlife is equally amazing. From orcas spouting to breathe, to sea otters laying on their back eating food. There can be some stunning views of beautiful animals. And while you might not see all these animals during your visit, there are always birds. And when it comes to birds, Vandenberg is an expert and tells us that there are more than 240 species of birds in Glacier Bay. And while the rangers can help you with identification you will want to bring binoculars and maybe a bird book of your own. He points out that you’ll usually see puffins and bald eagles. Look for their white heads in the tops of trees along the shore. You might even see one fly low and snag a fish from the water. A never to be forgotten memory. So bring perseverance and dedication and you won’t be disappointed.
All this activity plays out in a circle of life amidst the backdrop of the Glaciers. And that’s the real treat. Especially, when a glacier calves, sending hundreds of birds scurrying into the sky, causing massive surges and gentle whirlpools. And Vandenberg knows there’s no other place he’d rather work.
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Listeners can download all 16 of the Glacier Bay podcasts, or only a specific audio file, onto a personal iPod, MP3 or portable media player before embarking on a Holland America Line Alaska cruise to Glacier Bay. Preloaded podcasts on iPods also are available on board for checkout. To access the complete “Glacier Bay Ranger Podcast Anthology” click here.
Paul Lasley and Elizabeth Harryman, travel writers, broadcasters and regular contributors to the Holland America blog, worked with the National Park’s rangers, scientists and naturalists to allow you this rare insider’s view into the science and wild beauty of Glacier Bay National Park.