Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Boomerang Returns

The fog smothering our coastline for the last few days finally lifted yesterday morning to reveal Whale #2503, Boomerang, and her calf just off the shoreline of Crescent Beach. Diane Lane spotted them from her condo balcony around 10:00 AM and called her husband, David, who was surveying with Team 1. Confirming the sighting from the Lane’s balcony, the team called it in around 10:30 AM. Joy and Becki were making final preparations for an Air Cam survey and arrived to photograph the pair an hour later.

In the photo to the right, there is almost a body length separating the two and we saw this behavior several times while circling overhead. In past seasons, this separation has been observed with older calves, more toward the end of the season, as they begin to gain a bit of independence from the mother. The first sighing of Boomerang was on 20 January with the calf, so the calf’s age cannot be pinpointed, yet it appears to be fairly young and would be expected to remain closer to its mother. Did the close proximity to shore provide a safer environment for greater separation? Do right whales have different mothering styles? Ah, the questions…they never end!