Northern right whales

Post your warm-blooded air-breathing vertebrates!

Moderator: Scott Waters

Post Reply
User avatar
pete
Posts: 745
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:11 pm
Location: cape cod ma.

Northern right whales

Post by pete » March 24th, 2012, 4:02 am

Every spring as the sun begins to warm the surface waters in the ocean, large numbers of copepods mass on the surface to eat newly bloomed algae. In turn, large numbers of sand eels and herring mass to eat the copepods. Lastly, large numbers of birds and marine mammals arrive to eat the fish. The tip of cape cod is the southern end of stellwagen bank, a place where ocean currents converge and all those copepods and small fish are concentrated.
Yesterday i snuck out of work early and went to see the feeding frenzy that is happening right off the beach. I was lucky to see about 35 northern right whales (10% of the world population) 6 or 7 finback whales, several hundred white sided dolphin, 40-50 pilot whales and thousands of red breasted megansers, gannets, gulls and alcids. I got a few ok pictures from the beach but it is hard to convey the amount of activity in almost every direction. I was awestruck!

finback
Image
Image
right whales
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
dolphins
Image
Image
Image
Image

User avatar
Hans Breuer (twoton)
Posts: 3203
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 2:19 am
Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
Contact:

Re: Northern right whales

Post by Hans Breuer (twoton) » March 24th, 2012, 4:29 am

35 northern right whales (10% of the world population)
WHAT! Jeez. You lucky duck...

User avatar
Warren
Posts: 351
Joined: June 9th, 2010, 6:17 am

Re: Northern right whales

Post by Warren » March 24th, 2012, 9:48 am

That sounds pretty awesome! Thanks for posting.

User avatar
Curtis Hart
Posts: 595
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 4:07 pm
Location: Hillsdale County, Michigan

Re: Northern right whales

Post by Curtis Hart » March 24th, 2012, 1:56 pm

That's an excellent variety of marine mammals from shore. So this happens every year at this time? I'm going to have to make it out there some year. Thanks for posting!

User avatar
justinm
Posts: 3423
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 4:26 am
Location: Illinois
Contact:

Re: Northern right whales

Post by justinm » March 24th, 2012, 8:12 pm

I loved the Baleen shot. Since I was a young kid I've wanted to see that in person.

User avatar
Tim Borski
Posts: 1855
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:28 am
Location: FL Keys
Contact:

Re: Northern right whales

Post by Tim Borski » March 26th, 2012, 12:11 pm

Wow Pete, that's super intruiging (and downright awesome!!) Thanks for giving us a look. :thumb: :thumb:

Have a great season,

Tim

User avatar
pete
Posts: 745
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:11 pm
Location: cape cod ma.

Re: Northern right whales

Post by pete » March 26th, 2012, 6:08 pm

I'm glad you all enjoyed the post! It was a memorable afternoon for me :D

Curtis, while this does happen every spring. It is not always such a good show. This years bright sun and warm temps kept the food up near the surface causing all the visible activity. Most years the copepods are deeper in the currents and you see lots of spouts and whale backs but not so much breaching and lolling on the surface. If you ever make it this way let me know.

Post Reply