Friday, July 27, 2012
This year has had a little bit of a slow start with the blue whales. Normally June is when they start to trickle in and by mid-July our sightings have increased. This year has been a little different. The blue whales moved around California before stopping off here in Long Beach, but now they’re here! And not just a couple!
The week has been FULL of blue whale sightings. We’ve had days with multiple sightings, including some cow/calf pairs! Yesterday alone had 12 sightings! The interns are currently working on figuring out how many individuals we had, and within the next few weeks, hopefully we’ll figure out if we’ve seen them in previous years too!
If the blue whales are finally moving in right now, you might be wondering “where have they been?” Looks like they were spending some time up in Monterey Bay and down south in San Diego! And there are still quite a few in both areas from what I hear. Remember, the whole reason blue whales even come to this area is for food. The food is booming here in Long Beach and it must be booming there too! Blue whales have to eat on average 1.5 million calories worth of food each day. That’s roughly 40 million krill! You can imagine just how important large quantities of krill in one area are for blue whales. Naturalist on the boats have said they have been seeing krill everywhere out there. Lots of krill equals lots of whales!
Besides blue whales, there have also been some reports of humpback whales feeding in the area, and sperm whales! There was one sperm whale spotted off of Point Vicente two days ago and was officially confirmed, and it might have met up with another one a little ways offshore. We’re hoping that the sperm whale shows again, although they can be very hard to find. They spend a lot of time diving into the deep waters in search of squid. They come to the surface and breathe for a while and then back down they go. When they come to the surface, it’s very interesting to look at because their blowhole is shifted forward and to the left. When the whale blows, it moves forward and at an angle which is different than the very tall blow of a blue or fin whale.
With the weather being so great and the water full of krill, I have a feeling the upcoming weeks are going to be great. If you’re in the area and looking for something to do, there’s plenty going on in the ocean with the whales. I have no idea what you’ll see, but if it’s anything like the last week, it’ll be amazing!
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