This photo taken an hour earlier than yesterday’s post shows a humpback whale fluking or lobtailing. Lobtailing is the act of a whale lifting its fluke out of the water and then bringing it down onto the surface of the water hard and fast in order to make a loud slap. Large whales tend to lobtail by positioning themselves vertically downwards into the water and then slapping the surface by bending the tail stock. They are likely to slap several times in a single session. The sound of a lobtail can be heard underwater several hundred metres from the site of a slap. This has led to speculation amongst scientists that lobtailing is, like breaching, a form of non-vocal communication. Also some suggest that lobtailing in humpback whales is a means of foraging. The hypothesis is that the loud noise causes herring to become frightened, thus tightening their school together, making it easier for the humpback to feed on them.
It is a little later in the season with different bears than the ones in Oct. 1st posting but still in the river estuary. This mother and cub have just come out of the salmon berry patch behind the three alder trees. Mom is back to grazing however the cub is cautious as this is only the second time this family has appeared along the shore. The Glendale River mouth has a constant spring population of four to six grizzlies that appear most days and added to that is a roaming population that appears for a week and then moves on to be replaced by a different family. Nature arranged it this way so the guides have some new bears and are never sure what each day will bring.
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