Tuesday, May 26, 2009
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!”
Thursday, May 21, 2009
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.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
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!
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
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.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
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!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
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.
Thursday, April 09, 2009
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.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
For people, a good tooth brushing is needed to take off or prevent buildup on your teeth. When one of our seals gets build-up on its teeth, it also gets a good tooth brushing.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
A decade ago this summer, I spent two hours in the water caring for a distressed Stejneger’s Beaked Whale. In this week’s blog I will be sharing some of my observation notes from my encounter with this mysterious, rarely seen alive cetacean.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
A new voice can be heard in the Seal and Sea Lion Exhibit at the Aquarium of the Pacific. No, there’s not a new animal in the waters of the exhibit. Instead, a new voice has been introduced because Parker the sea lion has finally discovered his “Big Boy” bark.