On our first day, we took a group boat tour and spotted the majestic Bald Eagle. This one had caught a large fish and was chowing down on the rocks. Unfortunately, our boat spooked it and he/she flew off. It was quite a site to see so close up.
How often do you see "Caution Bear In Area" signs? Not often unless you routinely spend time in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The bears in this case are Grizzlies, however, and we were able to see them. They live on an island inhabited by First Nations people and we took a fascinating tour with a Homalco Wildlife Tours guide who was extremely knowledgeable about the animals.
The bears are in their "hyper-feeding" stage and are attempting to pack in 1 million calories before it is time to den for the winter hibernation. We learned that they don't hibernate because of the cold but instead because they lose their food supply completely.
It looks like we were able to get fairly close to these large creatures but we used zoom lenses. It was certainly close enough when I considered just how quickly they can move and how powerful they are.
Another large mammal that lives near Sonora Island is the Stellar Sea Lion. They are enormous and can be a bit clunky in the water. Their smaller cousin, the Harbor Seal, moves more quickly in the water but really can't do much when lounging on the land. I was enamored by their beautiful coloring.