Thursday, April 14, 2016
This just in: We have spotted our first blue whale of the season here in Long Beach on 4.13.16! Woohoo!
You would think that we would be seeing a whole bunch of northbound gray whales at this point heading back to Alaska after their winter vacation in Baja, but our local fin whales have been out and about and feeding! Multiple fins a day are being sighted and thrilling guests by their massive size and their feeding behaviors. Lunge feeding at the surface using their baleen plates to filter out krill, and even seeing whale poop (because when do you ever get to see that!?) is pretty exciting. Fin whales are the second largest animal on our planet (the blue taking the lead) measuring up to 88 feet in length and weighing around 250,000 lbs. They are streamlined and super quick! Sometimes they go under for several minutes and pop up right next to the boat! You may notice our cover photo, taken by the amazing Tim Hammond from Harbor Breeze, is of a fin whale that came right up next to the boat.
The gray whales have been present but we have not been seeing many of them during our whale watching tours. However, according to the American Cetacean Society gray whale census, there was been 1911 north-bounders sighted already! Maybe they have been coming by our coast early in the morning? Any day now we should be seeing a lot more grays heading back up North to their feeding grounds in Alaska, but in the meantime, the fins, pacific white sided dolphins, and a few humpback whales have been capturing our attention. Check out the photos that our team has skillfully collected in this week’s blog of the amazing whales and dolphins we have seen in the last couple of weeks.
Now, there is one more intern we need to introduce out of the fab four that has been working hard collecting and processing whale photos and data,
“Hi, I’m Mackenna! I was born and raised a beach bum in San Diego, CA but ended up a city girl while attending St. John’s University in Queens, NY. I just recently moved back to California after trying out southern living in South Carolina and couldn’t be happier living on the west coast again and working for the Aquarium. I graduated with a degree in biology but, as you may have guessed, there isn’t a big marine mammal population in the big city, so here I am! I’ve always known I wanted to be a marine biologist and the Aquarium has given me the opportunity to do that and I couldn’t be more grateful. For me, the best part about this internship is seeing the animals in their natural environment!”
We are showcasing many of Mackenna’s whale and dolphin photos you can see above! Since the current photo ID internship is winding down, we will be introducing the Summer interns and their work soon, so stay tuned!
There is still time to see the gray whales, and even our local fin whales, on a whale watch. The gray whales should be around for a few more weeks and the fins, humpbacks, and dolphins are some of the more frequent sightings! So, book your trip to go on a whaley fun adventure.
Thanks for reading!
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