Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Right Whale Season Déjà vu?

Hang on to your binoculars and cell phones! Despite our recent absence of sightings, the season may not be over yet. Reports from our colleagues have restored our optimism. Three new mother-calf pairs were sighted this past week. Nos. 15 and 16, Catalog #1620 (Mantis) and #2790, are females with calves that we have seen in our area in previous years. They were sighted by our colleagues with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Julie Albert with Marine Resources Council sighted no. 17 south of Cape Canaveral. This
mother is Catalog #3420 (Platypus) with her first calf in the photo to the right. Interestingly, she was documented off Georgia on
8 February while still pregnant and this is the first sighting of her with the calf. Yesterday, she was heading south, last seen in Melbourne Beach. Could she emulate Halo (Catalog #3546) from last year, who kept us busy with sightings until early April? It was one year ago yesterday that we flew the Air Cam to Sebastian to photograph Halo and her first calf.

This is a small, but promising late-season surge in activity. Keep your eyes peeled (when the fog lifts!) and your cell phone handy. Who knows how this will end!