Teklanika Photography 2018 wall calendars still available!


Happy New Year!

We still have a limited quantity of our 2018 nature calendars available! These glossy 8 1/2″ x 11″ wall calendars are a welcome addition to any home or office, featuring full color wildlife and landscapes prints – and they’re only $15.00! Every month shows a different photograph accompanied by an inspirational quote. Holidays and significant dates in conservation history are noted. Click below to order your calendar today!



Copyright (c) 2018 G. Runco / Teklanika Nature Photography


Teklanika Photography 2016 Newsletter


Greetings & Best Wishes from Teklanika Photography!


We hope that our annual end-of-year newsletter finds you happy, healthy, and with those you love.

2016 has been another excellent year for nature photography! We feel fortunate to have the simple privilege of photographing Bohemian Waxwings in our very own downtown Anchorage neighborhood each winter. They love the berries of the Mountain Ash trees that line our streets and arrive in huge, chattering flocks for these delicate snacks. Not far down the Seward Highway southbound, the Dall Sheep gather in the cliffs, providing ample opportunities for viewing and photography. Of course, the beginning of the year is also great for capturing the Northern Lights. Like the year before, the 2016 Aurora Borealis did not disappoint.

On a more somber note, a major seabird mortality event in Alaska – affecting tens of thousands of Common Murres – occurred over the 2015-2016 winter season. While the specific cause remains unknown, the die-off likely resulted from warming sea temperatures. This event resulted in an opportunity to document the birds that Guy and his team at the Bird Treatment and Learning Center were able to rehabilitate and release back to sea.

In April, we took a family trip to Seward for an early-season Grey Whale-watching tour. In addition to one female Grey Whale and her calf, we enjoyed seeing myriad other sea mammals, including Steller Sea Lions, Harbor Seals, Mountain Goats, and Northern Sea Otters. We also watched a Kingfisher fish along the shore of Resurrection Bay on a beautiful evening at Lowell Point.


Also in April, we began taking pictures of the year’s newest arrivals – Moose calves! From a safe and respectful distance of course, observing and photographing the calves and their mothers is a profound annual experience.

In May, we took a trip to Colorado and enjoyed seeing the wildlife of our home state, including Red-Tailed Hawks, Black-Chinned Hummingbirds, American While Pelicans, Red-Winged Blackbirds, White-Tailed Deer, and Coyotes among others.

Back in Alaska, later in May and into June, finally the Black and Brown Bears are awake! Other young are appearing as well, like the downy Great Horned Owlets and the pink-beaked juvenile Ravens. And we’re off to our annual visit to the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival.

In July, we escorted a rehabilitated Bald Eagle north to Fairbanks for release at the 2016 Annual Midnight Sun Powwow. As in past years, this event and the eagle release is an awe-inspiring and goosebump-inducing experience.

Summer flew by in the blink of an eye.


In September, we returned to Denali National Park for the annual road lottery, an unforgettable four days in the park with numerous opportunities to observe and photograph Grizzly Bear, Moose, Caribou, Red Fox, Arctic Ground Squirrel, Willow Ptarmigan, and more. While in Denali, we also delighted in our first snow of the season at Eielson Visitor Center.

Along with snow and the change of the season comes the darkness, returning to reveal the Northern Lights once again! And the Fall Moose rut in Anchorage.


Winter has now settled in completely and the holiday season is upon us. We are anxiously awaiting some measurable snow accumulation.

In between our trips away from home, we spent hundreds of hours hiking and exploring our backyard in the greater Anchorage area, which offers excellent nature photography opportunities. We hope that you’ll visit the website and also scroll back through our 2016 posts in the Field Journal to see some of what we came across this year.


2017 Teklanika Nature Photography Calendar


Our 2017 nature calendars are now available! These glossy 8 1/2″ x 11″ calendars are a welcome addition to any home or office, featuring full color wildlife and landscapes prints – and they’re only $15.00! Every month shows a different photograph accompanied by an inspirational quote. Holidays and significant dates in conservation history are noted.



Visit the new Teklanika website!


We were finally able to make some much-needed updates to our website earlier this year, including faster loading photos and a streamlined shopping cart and check out experience. Take a look and let us know what you think!



New Prints Added to our Online Portfolio


As a reminder, if you find that Teklanika Photography photo that you just can’t live without, we have a variety of print options available to suit everyone’s needs. If you’re interested in a photo that you’ve seen while browsing our Field Journal but you don’t see it available for purchase on the Teklanika website, contact us and we’ll take care of you. Thanks!



Teklanika Field Journal


The field journal features our day-to-day wildlife and nature photos (many of which never make it into the teklanikphotography.com portfolio). You can sign up to receive Field Journal updates in regular installments (per post, weekly, etc.) right in your email inbox!



2016 Field Journal Video

Once again, we’re excited to share with you a video compilation of some of our moments this year in the field.
(For best results, be sure to watch the video in “1080p HD”.)


Copyright (c) 2016 G. Runco / Teklanika Nature Photography

December 31, 2012


Wow, seems like 2012 just flew by! It has been a great year – here are some of my photography highlights:

– 24,842 photos taken throughout 2012
– first great gray owl photos
– first snow bunting photos
– first northern hawk owl photos
– first decent photos of the Aurora Borealis, finally!
– 6 lynx sightings, and my first lynx photos
– incredible number of bear photo opportunities this year (thanks to Michael Bay for building the treestands along the creek)
– trusty Sony camera, lens and tripod slid into a raging river while photographing brown bears, lost forever
– special thanks to the incredible kindness of photographers Bill and Sharon Larson, Dick Williams and Dan Carline, I was able to salvage the busy summer photography season with borrowed gear
– first short-tailed weasel photos
– several trips to Denali National Park, including four days of the coveted “road lottery” (thank you Larson’s!!!)
– inducted into an excellent wildlife watcher / photography group, RLAC (Road Lottery Addicted Crew)
– first gyrfalcon photos
– first Alaskan pika photos
– new camera! switched from Sony to Canon (thanks again to photographer Dick Williams for his incredible continuing support, I owe you big time buddy!)

Thankful for an excellent 2012 and looking forward to a great 2013, happy new year!


Happy Holidays!

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Teklanika Nature Photography
Seasons Greetings to you and yours!

Teklanika Nature Photography
We hope that our annual end-of-year newsletter finds you happy, healthy, and with those you love.

2013 Teklanika Nature Photography Calendar
Teklanika Nature Photography

2013 nature calendars are available, and this year we’ve decided to stick with our “one-photo-per-page” style page layout. Our 8 1/2" x 11" calendars are a welcome addition to any home or office, featuring full color wildlife and landscapes prints – and they’re only $10.00! Every month shows a different nature quote and notes holidays as well as significant historic dates for conservation.

Teklanika Nature Photography

New Prints Added to our Online Portfolio
Teklanika Nature Photography
2012 was another excellent year for nature photography, and we were able to spend quite a bit of time outdoors enjoying all that Alaska has to offer. As a reminder, if you ever see that Teklanika Photography photo that you just cannot live without, we have a variety of print options available. Look through our galleries to see what we’ve been up to!

Teklanika Nature Photography

Teklanika Field Journal
Teklanika Nature Photography Journal
You can sign up to receive our Field Journal in regular installments (per post, weekly, etc.) right in your email inbox. The field journal features our day-to-day photos (many of which never make it into the teklanikphotography.com portfolio), musings, and relevant news.

Teklanika Nature Photography

Teklanika Nature Photography
“The idea of wilderness needs no defense, only defenders.” – Edward Abbey

Copyright (c) 2012 Teklanika Nature Photography

2 Denali Wolves Killed in Buffer Zone

by Kim Murphy
courtesy of Anchorage Daily News

The two primary breeding females from the best-known wolf pack at Denali National Park — a pack viewed by tens of thousands of visitors each year — are dead, one of them killed by a trapper operating just outside the boundary of Alaska’s premier national park.

The incident has raised an outcry among Alaska conservationists. They’re demanding an immediate halt to wolf trapping in what was formerly a buffer zone northeast of the park, an area made famous as the site of the abandoned school bus in Jon Krakauer’s “Into the Wild.”

The trapper apparently shot an aging horse and left it as a lure for the wolves, according to residents in the area. Park officials, who have unsuccessfully sought to maintain a no-hunting buffer alongside the park, said two wolves, at least one of them from the well known Grant Creek pack, were fatally snared near the carcass.

One of the dead wolves was equipped with a radio collar attached by scientists; it was the only female from the pack known to have raised pups last year. The pack’s only other known breeding female was found dead near the pack’s den, probably of natural causes. A third wolf, also snared near the horse carcass, was a male that may or may not have been part of the Grant Creek pack, said Tom Meier, wildlife biologist for Denali National Park.

Click here to read the rest of the story

Happy New Year – 2011 Highlights

Quite a year for me! I’ve gone from working with fish for the Division of Wildlife in Colorado to working with birds at the Bird Treatment & Learning Center, a wild bird rehab and education center in Alaska.

As for wildlife watching and photography, I’ve had many “firsts” this year, including…
– photographed Burrowing Owl

– photographed Dall Sheep

– photographed Bobcat (at quite a distance, but still a first for me)

– photographed Orca and Humpback Whale

– watched a Black Bear hunt Dall Sheep on steep cliffs (no photo of the chase, but really cool to see)

– photographed Arctic Tern and other birds of Alaska

– watched & photographed a Wolf feeding on a Caribou carcass (at quite a distance as well, but still a first for me)

– had a close encounter alone with a Grizzly Bear (again, no photo of the action, happened too fast)

– “howled in” a Wolf

Happy New Year!

View From Kaktovik, Alaska on Polar Bears and Global Warming

courtesy of Alaska Dispatch
by Will Rose and Kajsa Sjölander

Beaufort Sea polar bears find themselves in the crosshairs of global warming, forced to adapt to less and less ice that’s critical to the way they hunt and survive.

As Arctic sea ice retreats up to 700 miles from the shoreline during summer months, bears must either head north or swim south to land as the ice breaks up. In 2011, U.S Fish and Wildlife Service scientists working in the area have counted 49 bears within 10 miles of Kaktovik, the largest concentration of the estimated 70-80 spread along the coastline.

Those bears represent up to 10 percent of the southern Beaufort population, estimated at 1,500 animals five years ago by U.S. Geological Survey.

The number of polar bears coming to land is increasing over the past decade but scientists are unsure why. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the primary threat to polar bears is the loss of sea ice habitat due to climate change. Whale remains left by local substance hunters may be another factor.

“A lot of bears showed up just after a big wind storm,” said polar bear guide Robert Thompson of Kaktovik. “Biologists said they saw eight dead polar bears floating in the water. We believe the thin ice broke up beneath them so they had to sink or swim.”

Click here to read the rest of the story

Ravens Communicate Better than Most of Animal Kingdom

courtesy of Alaska Dispatch
by Doug O’Harra

Wild ravens in the Austrian alps have been observed using their beaks and body language to direct another raven’s attention to a specific object, marking the first time such complex gesturing has been documented in an animal outside of humans and their primate cousins.

The findings suggest that Corvus corvax — those canny black birds that dominant both Alaska Native myth and Anchorage’s winter-time parking lots — may have communication abilities and intelligence that puts them on par with bonobos.

By repeatedly demonstrating a kind of “look at that” gesture thought to be at the foundation of human language — behavior seen in human infants beginning at about the age of 1 — the birds may even be smarter than some nonhuman primates, according to a study published today in the journal Nature Communications.

Click here to read the rest of the story

Wandering Wolf Now Too Famous to be Shot?

Courtesy of MSNBC

A young wolf from Oregon has become a media celebrity while looking for love, tracing a zigzag path that has carried him hundreds of miles nearly to California, while his alpha male sire and a sibling that stayed home near the Idaho border are under a death warrant for killing cattle.

Backcountry lodge owner Liz Parrish thinks she locked eyes with the wolf called OR-7 on the edge of the meadow in front of her Crystalwood Lodge, on the western shore of Upper Klamath Lake in Oregon, and hopes someday she will hear his howls coming out of the tall timber.

“I was stunned — it was such a huge animal,” said Parrish, who has seen her share of wolves while racing dog sleds in Alaska and Minnesota. “He just stopped and stared. I stopped and stared. We had a stare-down that seemed like a long time, but was probably just a few seconds.

“He just evaporated into the trees. I stayed there awhile, hoping he might come back. He didn’t.”

Click here to read the rest of the story

Bears in Alaska’s Largest City Still Not Ready to Hibernate for Winter

courtesy of Alaska Dispatch
by Craig Medred

The much-touted Big Wild Life of Alaska’s largest city is proving a bit too wild for Anchorage cross-country skiers looking to embrace the plentiful early-winter snow.

It’s bad enough to worry about grizzly bears all summer while mountain biking and running Hillside Park trails in Alaska’s largest city, they say; having to worry about them in winter, when they should be sleeping, is a bit much.

“I can’t imagine carrying bear spray on the ski trails,” said long-time Anchorage resident Chip Treinen earlier this month, but after a running across way-too-fresh bear tracks on the Spencer Loop he was wishing he was packing some. “We were kind of spooked.”

Click here to read the rest of the story

Judges: US Wrong to Lift Protection for Yellowstone Grizzlies

courtesy of MSNBC
by Miguel Llanos

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday lost a court battle in its bid to lift federal protections for grizzly bears in the Yellowstone National Park area.

The service had been arguing that a strong rebound by the local grizzly population, now estimated at around 600, warranted lifting the protections. But a federal appeals court upheld a lower court decision, ruling that the service hadn’t properly weighed the impact of a declining food source: the whitepark pine.

The 9th Circuit Court judges wrote that a study used by the service “to demonstrate long-term grizzly population growth included data only until 2002, before the ‘epidemic of mountain pine beetles’ began to kill the region’s whitebark pines.”

Click here to read the rest of the story

Behind the Scenes in the Lives of Captive Wolves

courtesy of High Country News
by Ceiridwen Terrill

When we started the 2 o’clock tour at the Colorado Wolf & Wildlife Center in the mountains above Colorado Springs, the wolves were napping, just as wild wolves do in the middle of the day. A woman in jeans and cowboy boots served as guide for our group — eight random travelers, most of whom simply had seen the road sign, pulled in and paid the $10 fee. She led us from one enclosure to the next to see animals with names like Princess and Wakanda — tossing them treats from a Ziploc bag, so we could hear their jaws snap shut. Then she led us in a group howl, hoping that some of the wolves would join in. “Ready?” she said. “One, two, three. …”

Our first collective howl sounded more like the bawl of a dying cow, and a couple of the wolves flicked their ears as if irritated. “You guys are pathetic,” the guide said. “Let’s try it again.” Finally a wolf stood up, shook the dust from his coat and gave a half-hearted howl. As the guide directed us toward the gift shop, where a bottle of wolf fur cost four bucks, she tossed a biscuit over the fence. The next tour would be in an hour. The Wolf & Wildlife Center hosts thousands of visitors each year in its mission to “educate the public … about the importance of wolves, coyote and (foxes) to our ecosystem.” It even takes wolves as “ambassadors” into classrooms and other public settings ranging from Colorado’s ski towns to inner-city Denver.

Each captive wolf has its own story, as does every captive-wolf operation. It was almost feeding time when I arrived at Mission: Wolf, a remote 200-acre sanctuary nestled at the southern end of Colorado’s San Isabel National Forest. Wearing blue rubber gloves, two knife-wielding volunteers sawed through frozen meat. They’d cook the meat, which had been donated, in a giant pot mixed with vitamins and kibble, and then serve it to the 29 resident wolves, using white five-gallon buckets with each animal’s name printed on the side: Nyati, Ned, Merlin, Orion, Lily … and Soleil, a female rescued from an owner who wanted a fighting wolf and kept her chained to a tree for five months.

Click here to read the rest of the story

Should State Approve Wolf-Control Measures on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula?

Courtesy of Alaska Dispatch
by Rick Sinnot

Near the end of the movie “Season of the Witch,” a small band of medieval adventurers is surrounded by howling wolves. The monk says, “Wolves.” Another character asks, “What’ll we do?” Nicolas Cage, playing a knight in tarnished armor, says, “Kill as many as you can.”

Welcome to wildlife management as it is currently practiced in Alaska. Not so different from the way it was practiced in the Middle Ages.

I am not opposed to reducing numbers of wolves to increase numbers of prey animals — wolf control — so long as wolves constitute a serious problem and the program is scientifically justified, temporary and cost effective. Wolf control for the sake of killing wolves is none of the above.

This week, in Barrow, the northernmost city in the United States, the Alaska Board of Game was scheduled to consider wolf control proposals for two game management units on the Kenai Peninsula: 15A and 15C.

Why was the board considering wolf control plans for the Kenai Peninsula at a meeting in Barrow?

When the board adopts a predator control plan, it takes 60 days before a program can be implemented. Ted Spraker, a board member from the Kenai Peninsula, was bound and determined to start shooting Kenai wolves this winter. But the board tabled both proposals until their Anchorage meeting, scheduled Jan. 13-18, 2012.

Board members, including Spraker, found serious flaws in the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s documentation and expressed concern that a required feasibility plan wasn’t completed before the meeting.

Now most Alaskans wouldn’t get a chance until next year to examine the reasons why the department believes wolf control is justified on the Kenai Peninsula. The reasons are not persuasive.

Click here to read the rest of the story