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Whale Watching | Mammals

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Getting Questions Answered About Blue Whales from an Expert | Kera  buttonLink

Getting Questions Answered About Blue Whales from an Expert

It’s coming up on that time again…blue whales! For the last two summers, there have been more blue whales here than there ever have been in previous years. Normally the first whale is spotted sometime in June, and then by mid July, there are so many here that’s it almost a guaranteed sighting daily on the boats. Last year the first sighting was on June 11. In 2007 the first sighting was June 12. This year we had our first sightings in APRIL! I wonder if this is a foreshadowing for what the summer is going to look like…

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Volunteering | Birds | Mammals

Thursday, June 18, 2009

AQUARIUM CRITTERS IN SLOW MOTION | Hugh  buttonLink

From an otter carefully grooming her fur to a porcupine enjoying a ride on his keeper’s arm; sometimes the beauty of an animal can best be seen in slow motion. This week’s blog includes a video of some of the Aquarium’s critters viewed in slow motion.

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Volunteering | Mammals

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Brook Has Soft Paws, and Other Things I’ve Noticed About the Aquarium’s Sea Otters | Hugh  buttonLink

Brook Has Soft Paws, and Other Things I’ve Noticed About the Aquarium’s Sea Otters

Since I’ve started working up close with the Aquarium’s sea otters I’ve noticed a few things about these furry critters that I hadn’t known before. This week’s blog is on 5 things about sea otters that I bet you didn’t know.

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Education | Whale Watching | Birds | Mammals

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Follow That Bird! | Kera  buttonLink

Follow That Bird!

One of the most common questions I get while on the boats is “How do you find the whales and dolphins? Does that Captain use radar?”  Unfortunately, no. I wish it were that easy! We rely on our eyes to do the searching. There are a couple of things we look for to get us in the right direction and as I like to say, “Follow the birds!”

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10 Year Anniversary Stories | Volunteering | Mammals

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Celebrating Ellie the Harbor Seal’s 20th Birthday | Hugh  buttonLink

Celebrating Ellie the Harbor Seal’s 20th Birthday

On May 16th 1989 a female harbor seal was born in Brooklyn, New York. She was named Elga in honor of a local philanthropist. In 1998 Elga found her way to California where she helped open the new Aquarium of the Pacific as one of the main attractions in the Southern California Baja Gallery.  At the Long Beach-based Aquarium, the seal’s East Coast sounding Elga became the more SoCal sounding Ellie. On May 16th, 2009 the Saturday marine mammal crew celebrated her 20th birthday.

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Education | Whale Watching | Mammals

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Dolphins, Dolphins, AND MORE DOLPHINS! | Kera  buttonLink

Dolphins, Dolphins, AND MORE DOLPHINS!

The gray whales are pretty much done passing through, and the next true season for whales is in the summer from around June to September when the blues are here. So for now, we go in search of some VERY acrobatic animals…the dolphins! And there’s more than one type of dolphin that likes to put on a show!

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10 Year Anniversary Stories | Volunteering | Mammals

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Pinniped Exhibit by the Numbers and Ellie the Seal’s Upcoming Birthday | Hugh  buttonLink

The Pinniped Exhibit by the Numbers and Ellie the Seal’s Upcoming Birthday

Based on my totally unscientific calculations more than one million visitors have seen our seal and sea lion presentations and our eldest sea lion has eaten over a hundred thousand herring while here at the Aquarium of the Pacific.  This week’s blog not only includes the Pinniped Exhibit by the numbers, but also an update on Ellie the Harbor Seal’s upcoming 20th birthday.

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Education | Whale Watching | Mammals

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Flippers, Fins, and Flukes, OH MY! | Kera  buttonLink

About a year ago, I was out on the boat as usual and was super excited to see all of the animals in the area. At this time, the gray whales had pretty much finished up migrating through our waters. We’d still see a few stragglers here and there. This was also the time that humpbacks poked their heads into our waters. Around this time every year we get humpback whales that also pass through here. Their migration is a little different and the majority of the humpback whales we see are coming from Central America and Mexico. I’d recently seen my first two humpback whales, and couldn’t wait to hopefully find more. And boy was I in for a surprise! On May 1, 2008, I got a very nice showing. I saw flippers, fins, and flukes, oh my!

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Volunteering | Birds | Mammals

Thursday, April 23, 2009

GRAND PRIX WEEKEND—SPENDING QUALITY TIME WITH THE CRITTERS OF THE AQUARIUM | Hugh  buttonLink

GRAND PRIX WEEKEND—SPENDING QUALITY TIME WITH THE CRITTERS OF THE AQUARIUM

Although during the weekend of the Long Beach Grand Prix the Aquarium of the Pacific is closed, the animals still need to be cared for and necessary facility maintenance can be taken care of. For a husbandry volunteer it may look like a thankless job to be working in an empty aquarium while the roar and excitement of the Grand Prix Celebrity race are just yards away outside the front entrance but in reality its a day that veteran volunteers look forward to. Its one of the few times of the year that the husbandry staff has the Aquarium critters to themselves and, after the necessary chores are done, can have a days worth of playtime with the animals.

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Volunteering | Mammals

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Getting to Know Brook the Sea Otter | Hugh  buttonLink

Getting to Know Brook the Sea Otter

Even though I’ve known Brook the sea otter since the Aquarium of the Pacific opened in 1998, this spring I will have the opportunity to work with her without a piece of Plexiglass between us and get to see parts of her personality that I haven’t experienced before.

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