Sunday, February 03, 2008

Aerial Survey- 03 February 2008

EGNO 1968, an adult female North Atlantic right whale. Photo by Christin Khan, Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies.

The aerial survey team completed a full survey of Cape Cod Bay in beautiful sighting conditions again on Sunday. The beginning of the survey was uneventful, with no whale sightings as we traveled up the back side of the Cape and around into the northern half of Cape Cod Bay. About halfway through the flight, we spotted the distinctive callosity of a right whale very close to shore near Truro/Wellfleet. After circling to photograph the right whale and collect behavioral data, we returned to our tracklines and continued working our way south. We were just about ready to head in for the day when a second right whale was spotted on our last trackline, again in shallow water, this time just north of Barnstable Harbor. The whale was resting motionless at the surface of the water in a behavior known as “logging”, so it was quite easy to get the photographs necessary to match the whale to the catalog of known individuals. Anxious to get a closer look at our data and photos, we returned to the Chatham airport.

Right whale photo taken under Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies NOAA Fisheries permit 633-1763, under the authority of the U.S. Endangered Species and Marine Mammal Protection Acts.

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