2013 Sightings | November 10

Exciting and surprising day today on the Cetacea! We decided to try our luck on Stellwagen today – and we were certainly rewarded! As many as 6 humpbacks, 4 minkes and hundreds of gannets, shearwaters, and gulls – all in a feeding frenzy!

Feeding on Stellwagen Bank, a great look at the whale's baleen!

Gaping mouth, feeding on Stellwagen Bank

Whales and birds feasting for passengers!

When we arrived on the bank today we found Freckles and calf bubble net feeding, Wizard traveling nearby, and a group of 2 to 3 individuals kick feeding further out east. We also had minkes traveling amidst the feed, and the diving gannets put on quite the show today!

Seabirds diving and feeding 

We spent our time today with Freckles and her 2013 calf—our first sighting of the pair on our boats this season. Freckles and calf were working together to bubble feed. Freckles would coordinate the main net and come-up open mouth in the middle, while her calf would lunge a bit alongside the net.

Bubble feeding: note the light green colored bubbles and the gaping mouth in the middle

At times the calf would log for a bit between feedings (almost seeming to rest after trying to keep up with mom). It was exciting and interesting to see this calf learning to bubble feed. Hopefully we’ll see it bubble feeding on its own next season on the bank!

You can see the calf resting on the surface in the picture at right

We left the pair continuing to bubble feed as we headed back to Boston. All of us were thrilled to see so much action today. It was the most bird activity we’ve seen all season, and the most surface bubble feeding we’ve seen since May!

A pair of whales feeding

1 comment:

  1. The northern gannets were more than spectacular on this trip, thank you for hosting us. George Graham, NOAA S4 research volunteer.