Good Californian humpback whale news


This video is called Humpback Whales – BBC documentary excerpt.

From Wired in the USA:

Feeding Frenzy Fills Monterey Bay With Humpback Whales

By Nadia Drake

09.10.13

3:17 PM

In the last week, epic numbers of humpback whales have swum into Monterey Bay, drawn by a massive anchovy bloom. The splashing spectacle is unlike anything local marine biologists have seen before — a truly awesome assemblage of some of the largest creatures on the planet.

“Basically everywhere you look, there are multiple whales coming up. We like to call them megapods,” said Dorris Welch, a marine biologist and co-owner of Sanctuary Cruises. “It’s been remarkable. In the last five days, we’ve had increasingly large numbers — it’s building every day.”

Welch’s boat leaves from Moss Landing, a harbor at the heart of the crescent-shaped bay, which is about a 2-hour drive south of San Francisco. Underneath the bay lies a giant submarine canyon, the largest in North America. It’s here, over the canyon and at its edges, that the whales are feasting.

“Yesterday, within about 300 yards of the boat, there were probably 50 whales,” Welch told WIRED on Monday.

Humpback whales are rorquals — large baleen whales — and feed on a variety of seafood, including krill and anchovies. Most of the time, humpbacks feed several hundred feet beneath the waves. But sometimes, the fish are near enough the surface for scientists and whale watchers to see how the whales do it. Instead of bubble-netting, which is a common (and learned) hunting technique among whales in Alaska, Monterey’s humpbacks do something called bubble-blasting. Here, the whales blow enormous underwater bubbles that herd and corral the fish into a bait ball; then, the whales lunge through the bait ball, toward the surface, with their mouths wide open — a behavior called lunge-feeding (this is what the humpbacks in this video are doing). Their enormous mouthfuls are strained through the baleen plates, which let the water out while keeping the fish in.

Daring rescue of whale off Farallones / Humpback nuzzled her saviors in thanks after they untangled her from crab lines, diver says: here.

New App Being Tested to Spot California Whales so Ships Can Avoid Them: here.

10 thoughts on “Good Californian humpback whale news

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