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An Unexpected Pair in Gloomy Knob


By Rachel Sullivan-Lord, expedition guide, Wilderness Adventurer

Our first full day in Glacier Bay National Park started with a morning exploring Bartlett Cove where the Park’s visitor center is located.

In addition to the fantastic interpretive center and museum they have there, there is also a re-articulated skeleton of a known female humpback whale named Snow.

After exploring the trails around the Park’s visitor center and wandering through the museum, the Wilderness Adventurer cruised up into Glacier Bay. The weather improved with the clouds slowly lifting and sun appearing as we approached our first stop at South Marble Island. South Marble Island is home to a variety of nesting seabirds including Tufted Puffins, and is also a popular haul-out site for Steller Sea Lions--which you can see, hear, and smell!

Mom and kid

Our next stop at Gloomy Knob provided one of the most exciting wildlife observations of the whole week! Mountain goats, at home on the sheer cliffs of Gloomy Knob, are always exciting to see. But as we watched one through our binoculars, we saw it stand up and there was a second tiny goat right next to it--hooray for springtime baby animals!

Mountain goat vs. eagle

We watched the mom and kid just as a bald eagle took notice in the pair as well and swooped in to land on a low bush right next to the goats. As soon as the eagle landed, the mother goat instantly stood up. Slowly moving towards the eagle, she putting herself in front of her kid and then she charged the bird! The bald eagle quickly realized it was no match and flew off just before the goat reached it. Goat 1; Eagle 0.

Charge! Don't mess with mom

The rest of our week provided many other exciting wildlife sightings, including a mother brown bear with three cubs and a mother and calf humpback whale pair. This unusual interaction was definitely the highlight among them all!

Humpback and her calf

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