Do Not Copy

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

5-12-10 It All Came Together!

Wednesday, May 12th
(3rd post regarding our encounter with Capt. Hook and the T71s while out with Capt. Jim of Maya's Westside Charters...)

...my previous post showed that one of the whales of the T071s has notches on both flukes and is a female...so today I went searching to find a dorsal fin that belonged to that whale...
...I came upon a pic of T071A lunging after the Steller...and realized her tail was partially uncovered from the water...

...drum roll please...NOTCHES ON BOTH SIDES!!!

...her saddle patch mark on the right side is an 'upside down J' - that was the piece I was looking for...that is T071A !!
...so now I knew there were two females - which would be T071 (mom) and T071A (with the 'upside down J'), and that meant the male was T071B (see prior post)...and the youngest one T71C I didn't get enough info on him/her...
...now I only had to match up the dorsal fins for each of these whales...
...with the info I now had, it didn't take long and the rest of the puzzle just fell into place!
...I will probably never have an opportunity like this again with a small group giving away so much information...it sure was an exercise in scrutinizing every image to find the pieces of the puzzle...
 

Saturday, May 8, 2010

5-8-10 The Tail Flukes Puzzle Continues

Saturday, May 8th
...more on the 'whale tail' puzzle...of course these several posts about this encounter were all thanks to Capt. Jim and Maya's Westside Charters...

...here's the next puzzle piece...

...the second whale from yesterday's post has the very pretty smooth edged flukes and a bit hookie...so I guess it wasn't too difficult to figure this one out...

above...the top pic on the right shows partial belly marking with the absence of mammary slits and the pic below it shows that it belongs to the whale with the 'hookie' flukes...the two pics on the left also give indication that this is a male...but who?...well my guess would be T071A, but that is only because of the wide fin...but if a male this whale I would think would have a taller sprouting fin...so...could it be the middle sibling - T071B??? 


...whale #3...

...I know this next one is the youngest of the T071s...
...look at how this young whale's white marking appears to look longer as he/she dives...
...and in the next post the puzzle pieces get all put together...

Friday, May 7, 2010

5-7-10 Flukes and the Whales Who Own Them

Friday, May 7th


...delving into my pictures from the May 1st encounter with Capt. Hook T-40 and four other whales while on Maya's Westside Charters with Capt. Jim... ...well little did I know I would actually be able to isolate 4 different killer whale tails...now I won't count Captain Hook T40, as his tail is unmistakable...but what about the others?...
...I will have to have matching info on each image layer to be able to draw a conclusion - i.e. saddle patches, body scratches, dorsal fins...this is definitely a several layer puzzle...

....since they were flying out of the water so much...they gave lots of opportunity...

 
...the tail above has notches on both flukes, and of course the scratch marks...and the black edging...

...below, this tail is smooth edged on both flukes...with little scratching...much more hookie on both sides...male...maybe...
 

 

...below, this tail is smooth on one fluke and notched on the other... and the black edging is really thick...it took me a while to realize there were two with notches - whew!

...below, this one belongs to 'junior' or 'juniorette' the youngest/smallest of the group - T071C...
T071C has a blemish on the lower section of this one's tail...

...so one ID'd and three to go...
...at least one of the others is a male and one is a female...not sure on the third...
...the ID book on these whales says '??' under sex...but I did get belly shots of a male - not Capt. Hook -that shows the ID-able tail....now to attempt the next layer!

...I'll keep searching and maybe next time I will be able to match them up!...

...I love a good puzzle!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

5-1-10 Capt. Hook Is In Town!

Saturday, May 1st


Off to see J Pod with Capt. Jim of Maya's Westside Charters...oh, no wait there are Ts not far away...and guess who??? Capt. Hook T40 was one of them...

...he hasn't been seen in these waters since April of 2009...and this is just the second time I've seen him...
...that's his hooked dorsal fin as he is diving and about to do a cartwheel...strange looking image!

...I noticed that he did that a lot and also tail slapping... (from his left side his fin looks like it is flat across the top)... ...well he cartwheeled and tail slapped but he wasn't anywhere near the Steller sea lion...I just wonder if he was the 'hazer'...because he seemed to be patrolling the outer circle...his unusual dorsal fin and cartwheeling made for some pretty unusual photos...


...they had zigged and zagged up Haro Strait and then changed back to the south and BAM! another Steller sea lion attack began...unreal...fascinating to watch...
...she is actually lunging on top of the Steller...one of his flippers is protruding out from under her pectoral fin...
...as she continues she appears to be rolling over in her lunge...how do I know it's a female?...
...she showed her belly markings...now which female she is of the group I don't know...
...these 4 whales with Capt. Hook are T071,T071A T071B and T071C...confirmed by Dave Ellifrit of the Center for Whale Research...
...not to be outdone by Capt. Hook the others had 'flukes flying' a lot of the time too...as I watched the transients and the Steller I saw a similar pattern to attack and retreat, as I had last week (which was the first time I'd ever seen that!)...we couldn't decide if this was another 'training/practice' episode or not...but after we had moved on...we later learned that the Steller became a meal for those 5 Ts today...
...my next post delves into figuring out which tail fluke belongs to which whale!