These little, and I mean little, Channel Island
Gray Foxes are just fun to photograph. They look like the common
gray foxes we typically see in California and the west - but just
about half the size. We take the Island Packers ferry out of Ventura
Harbor in the morning to the Scorpion Landing on Santa Cruz Island
at 8am. Bring water and a lunch for the day. While in 2019 I
shot with my 70-200, a 100-400 would work as well without all the
weight. It is an easy safari physically, just some walking, plus plenty of
benches and places to sit in the shade and relax between the
numerous encounters, as well as bathrooms. On the ferry ride out and back to Santa Cruz Island we
saw numerous dolphins and gray whales. We take the 4pm boat
back. There is a 100% chance of photographing these cute
You call Island Packers (1-805-642-1393) and make a reservation
for the trip out and back. We usually get back around 5pm or so. In
2022 the ferry ticket was $58 (for a senior, over 55). We take the earliest ferry ride to
the island that day, 8:30am usually, and the
4 pm ride back.
The deposit is 50% via check, Paypal, or credit card, and
the balance is due halfway between the deposit date and the
safari date unless you are booking within 3 months, then
full payment is due. Check the main safari page for other
information. Spouses can ride along at no charge,
though they will have to buy a ferry ticket.
This safari is 1 day long.
I've spent my 38-year wildlife photography
career shooting in the American West. The first 23
years shooting out of Utah, the past 15 years out of
California. With 1500 published photo credits, dozens
of magazine covers and article, and a lifetime wandering the
roads of the west, the photo safaris that I lead are all to
the best locations, at the best times, during peak wildlife
activity periods. What a rush it has been.
Packers Ferry takes about 80 minutes to go from Ventura
Harbor to the Scorpion Landing. If the surf or wind is
up there can be a little rocking, so plan accordingly.
In ten years of doing this safari I've never had the ferry
ride canceled, but it is possible depending on conditions.
The ride out and back can be cool, while the island always
seems to be a balmy 65 degrees or so.
longest lens, as these little owls don't always land close
to us. Winter snow drives them from higher elevations
down to the oak woodlands of the Sierra foothills.
Instead of in 150 foot tall pines we photograph them in 30
foot tall oaks. I've seen and heard them on my black
bear safaris in Sequoia, up 200 feet above me in the trees.