Star Island seal pup checks out marine lab volunteer staff

Caught by iPhone! Check out the video below, and be sure to watch the upper-center portion of the film in its first five seconds.

Just before this, our volunteer said, the pup stuck his head up near the rock he was sitting on in Star Island’s quarrya spot just past the breakwaters but before East Rockand “calmly regarded him before deciding to swim back out to sea.”

Cool video! But not surprising since grey, harbor and ringed seals are often spotted swimming past the summerhouse in the evening. In fact, a group of 12 where spotted just the night before!

But we do have one last video for you, taken by our same intrepid volunteer. This time he captures an angry Spotted Sandpiper trying lead him astray from his nest near the summerhouse. Cheers and be sure you turn up the sound!




Interacting with whales?

I may be anthropomorphizing but it is hard not to think the whales are responding to the music. Although I don’t recollect sound traveling so well from the atmosphere to the hydrosphere. Still, this is entertaining and inspiring…even if for unsound reasons.

Endangered Right Whale populations rebound

Right whale #1612 and her calf 30 miles east of Wassaw Island on February 24.  The calf was hit by a boat between January 21 and January 29, probably offshore of northeast Florida.  The scars are consistent with an outboard engine propeller like those found on many recreational boats.  Boaters should keep a sharp watch for whales and reduce their speeds when traveling within 30 miles of the Southeast U.S. coastline from November 15 to April 15.  Photo by Sea to Shore Alliance, taken under NMFS permit #15488.

North Atlantic right whale and calf (Photo Courtesy of Savannah Morning News)

Among the most popular whales sighted by those who go on the Isles of Shoals Steamship Company’s whale watching cruises or just happen to see whales during their time on the Islands, endangered right whale births have rebounded this year. While this news comes to us courtesy of the Savannah, Georgia newspaper Savannah Morning News, it bodes well for summer whale watching off the Maine and New Hampshire coasts. Right whales migrate to higher latitudes during spring and summer.

From the newspaper:

For a North Atlantic right whale named Foster it was a momentous winter in the waters off the Georgia and Florida coasts. Not only did Foster give birth here, but so did her daughter. That made Foster one of a pair of new grandmothers among the 20 North Atlantic right whales that calved this winter.

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How do whales breath in Antarctica?


(Photo by Peter Kimball, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


This picture comes to us courtesy of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s “Picture of the Day.” Entitled “A Whale Rises” this photo comes from a 2012 research cruise in Antarctica where WHOI postdoctoral scientist Peter Kimball helped use the robotic vehicle Jaguar to map the underside of the ice.

But the trip was memorable for more than just its success in a harsh environment:

“We were stuck in heavy pack ice for nearly two weeks,” recalls Kimball. “We couldn’t see any open water around the ship, and the ice was just too thick for the ship to break. While we were stuck, this magnificent minke whale broke through a few centimeters of ice in a small lead and was breathing at the hole, right near our ship, for an entire day.”

Find more incredible photos from Woods Hole Oceanographic Researchers at