bubble (1)We saw our very first humpback whales bubble net feeding of the season last week aboard Ursa Major!  There were six individuals working together via social cues to collectively herd herring.  Before emerging from the water as a group, these humpback whales exhaled air from their blowholes as they swam in a spiral formation.  The trapped exhaled air forms a roughly cylindrical bubble net, or trap.  In the above photo, the humpback whales are emerging from the water after following their bubble net to the surface in an attempt to catch as much herring as possible in one gulp.  For more information on humpback whales in Alaska, please visit the website of the Alaska Whale Foundation, (a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of Alaskan marine mammals), by clicking HERE.

 

scottjoanOur guests on this week’s trip, Scott and Joan, of Vancouver, Washington, seen here at Kasnyku Falls, near the Hidden Falls Hatchery on Baranof Island, Alaska.

 

hummingbirdAfter three weeks of hanging the hummingbird feeder on Ursa Major, we saw our first rufous hummingbirds of the season.  We encountered a “swarm” of them  in Warm Springs Bay, Baranof Island, and enjoyed watching them battle one another and empty the feeder multiple times.

 

hummingbird1 (1)Rufous hummingbirds migrate north to southeast Alaska in the late spring/early summer from Mexico, and usually leave Alaska by September to migrate back to Mexico for the winter.  They remain in southeast Alaska long enough to enjoy the short bloom cycle of the wild flowers here in the summer.

One Comment

  • Gary Luhm says:

    Warm Springs has a huge patch of Salmonberry that the Rufous Hummingbirds love. When the juveniles fledge, I’m not surprised they swarm a feeder like on the Ursa. Great capture!

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