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A Pair of Masked Booby Birds and More!

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Animal Updates | Mammals | Conservation | Education | Whale Watching

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Julien

Welcome back to reading the whale blog! I have been on hiatus getting married and leaving the country for our honeymoon and such, but it is nice to be back down to Earth! October was a great month for whale watching and we even spotted more than just whales, dolphins, and pinnipeds! We got some rare avian visitors who stayed in town for eight days straight! The masked boobies were stealing the show for many of our trips and bird enthusiasts came from miles to see these rarities. Two boobies, one adult male and one juvenile male (possibly a sub-adult), made their home on one of our local buoys and charmed our guests with their beautiful plumage and interesting masked face. There are several species of booby birds, the blue footed being one of the most well known, but this species was identified as the Austropacific booby or masked booby. They are the largest of the boobies and can have a wing span of five and a half feet! They are not endangered and not from around here. They usually nest in and around tropical islands such as the Galapagos and the boobies, as a species, are a tropical bird! So you can imagine the interest in seeing this beautiful pair.

We were also surprised by the blue whales and their tenacity for that krill! Our blue whale sightings started to dwindle in the beginning of October, then, from the 20-26 we had a couple stick around and lunge feed along with the fins! The last sightings of a blue was on October 26th, so we may not see them again until next year. Last year, we had a reoccurrence of their presence in November, so you never know what will happen. Along with a few blue sightings we also had multiple fin whales, Risso’s, Pacific white sided dolphins, breaching minke whales, and thousands of common and bottlenose dolphins.

I have also gotten word that the first gray whales of the season have already been sighted! This may mean our gray whale season, which usually starts in December, will start a little early this year. If you would like to come out on a dolphin and sea life cruise in search of a wide diversity of wildlife click here. See you on the water!

A Pair of Masked Booby Birds and More!
A breaching minke whale who breached several times in a row!  | Aquarium of the Pacific
A Pair of Masked Booby Birds and More!
One of the last blue whales of the season lunging for krill. In this shot we can see the ventral pleats that expand and line the throat of the whale.  | Aquarium of the Pacific
A Pair of Masked Booby Birds and More!
One of the several Pacific white sided dolphins that were sighted a few weeks ago bow riding the boat.  | Aquarium of the Pacific
A Pair of Masked Booby Birds and More!
Amazing shot of the adult masked booby bird in flight!  | Aquarium of the Pacific

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