Landing a record-setting fish or getting up on water skis for the first time is a great way to spend the weekend, but one of the best parts of the boating lifestyle is connecting with nature. Fresh air and trees usually does the trick, but once in awhile we get to step it up by spotting one of Canada’s many natural sights; animals.
Most of us don’t stray too far from our home towns when hitting the water and would be surprised to learn about all of the wildlife we’re missing out on in other parts of the country. If you’ve ever wondered exactly what’s out there, wonder no more.
Here’s your comprehensive list of all the coolest critters you can spot from your Legend Boat from coast to coast.
Launching our list is Canada’s National Symbol, the mighty beaver. These cute rodents are primarily nocturnal, but once in awhile you’ll catch them making repairs to their dams and dens during the day. Other aquatic mammals you can spot include otters and marmots.
Continuing our list is Canada’s iconic moose. Other antlered animals include white-tailed and mule deer, caribou, and wapiti (elk). If there is a moose lurking around you won’t have to strain your eyes to spot it. These majestic creatures grow up to 7.6” tall at the shoulders and weigh in at a whopping 1000+ pounds.
Most of us who live outside of the city have seen a bear or two while driving. But, it usually comes as a surprise just how similar they are to us. They love to fish! The list includes Black Bear, Brown (Grizzly, Kodiak) Bear, and Polar Bear. Polar Bears are considered to be the largest (not by much) with the biggest on record coming in at an incredible 11”1’ standing on its hind legs.
There are 2 types of wolves - Gray (Timber) and Red - in the world, and both of them live in Canada. Although they have colourful names, there are almost 40 subspecies that include all black, all white, and mixed colour variations. Wolves almost always hunt in packs so if you see one, be cautious. His friends are most likely nearby.
The wolf’s smaller cousin, the fox, is also a common enough Canadian sight. With its small face features and bushy tail, they look pretty approachable. But, don’t get too close. Although they pose no real danger to humans they wouldn’t think twice about getting into a fight with your pets. Coyotes, the third Canadian and slightly larger critter from the dog family, is a little different. They’ve been known to attack humans.
Canada’s wild cats includes the Lynx, Cougar, Bobcat, and Cougar (aka Mountain Lion, Puma). If you happen to spot one of these creatures, count yourself lucky. Although they seem like violent and stealthy fighters, they’ve suffered for years (now on the endangered list) and are shy and solitary as a result. They steer clear of humans whenever possible.
It would be tough for most of us to spot a Bighorn sheep from a Legend Boat, but for those of us lucky enough to hit the water alongside the Canadian Rockies could be in for a visual treat. Make sure not to spook the sheep or you’ll likely miss it. They can see up to a kilometre away and climb away quickly from anything it considers a threat.
Keep an eye out for missing patches of bark from trees along the shoreline, this is a good sign that a porcupine is around. They’re hard to spot when they’re up in the trees, but when they’re on the ground they’re fairly obvious. Due to their 30,000 threatening quills most animals don’t dare step near, leaving porcupines free to roam around.
Most Canadians have seen a pig but you’ll have to travel to Saskatchewan or Alberta to spot this Jurassic-sized version. Wild boars are very smart, and very big. Some of the larger ones are exceeding 440 lbs and look pretty tough with their thick fur and long tusks.
We’re not going to run through the dozens (685 Canadian Bird Species currently on record) of birds you can spot from the water, but we do feel we should list off the more notable ones:
Canada Goose / Great Blue Heron / Turkey Vulture / Cardinal / Blue Jay / Golden Eagle / Bald Eagle / Sandhill Crane / Tundra Swan / Whooping Crane / Trumpeter Swan / Partridge / Grouse / Great Horned Owl / Snowy Owl
With more than 80,000 species of animals in Canada of course we couldn’t name them all. Did we miss your favourite? Let us know! Share your personal 'spotted-from-a-Legend' encounters with nature on our social media below.
Yours In Boating,