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!”
Monday, May 25, 2009
In honor of the beginning of Shark Summer here at the Aquarium of the Pacific, I thought I’d tell you about one of my favorite local sharks – the horn shark!
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.
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Even when the Aquarium of the Pacific is closed to the public for the hubbub of the Long Beach Grand Prix, the work inside continues. In fact, for some of us the work INCREASES, because we have the opportunity to do some bigger projects that we can’t do during regular working days.
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 16, 2009
Every year the gray whale makes a migration that is longer than pretty much any other animal in the world. They start from way up in the northern waters of Alaska and the Bering Sea, and in October head south on a 6,000+ mile trip to the lagoons in Mexico. After spending a couple of months down there, they then head 6,000+ miles back up the coast, passing by us, just as if they were traveling back and forth on the 405 freeway. Who would have thought that whales would have to commute???
Monday, April 13, 2009
I recently was asked why California doesn’t have as many “cool-looking fish” as places like Hawaii or the Caribbean. That question surprised me, because I think the answer is very different!