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The Daily Bucket is a regular feature of the Backyard Science group.  It is a place to note any observations you have made of the world around you.  Rain, sun, wind...insects, birds, flowers...meteorites, rocks...seasonal changes...all are worthy additions to the bucket.  Please let us know what is going on around you in a comment.  Include, as close as is comfortable for you, where you are located. Each note is a record that we can refer to in the future as we try to understand the patterns that are quietly unwinding around us.

These Humpbacks are the last I saw in the fall, a group of three had passed traveling south earlier the same day, that was Sept. 5, 2013. I posted a picture in a comment on the Daily Bucket soon after. These are photos of the same pair, taken from my boat earlier that day.  The first humpback I saw retuning was sighted April 13, 2014. Clarence Straits, Alaska

I'm still learning this Image business, these might show a little better with Ctrl ++

ring of bubbles on the sea, whales fishing
A ring of bubbles, out here in the middle,  what could....
whale just breaking the surface of the water
This is a large Humpback whale lying on it's side and swimming  in an arc just under the surface. It has dove fairly shallow and released a stream of bubbles to herd small fish into a more compact school.
two whales one rising verticaly just breaking the water
A smaller Whale is breaking the water moving vertically, probably right in the middle of the bait ball. Little fishies are getting outa' Dodge and the larger whale has opened her mouth and started scooping.
The smaller has brought his lower jaw above the surface but little fish are still making a get-away. The larger has closed her mouth and started straining water out of lunch. The technique they are using is sort of a hybrid of lunge feeding and bubble netting.
The larger is lunge feeding inside of a bubble net. The smaller is using the rise and gulp style of classic bubble netting, though in larger groups whales on the perimeter of the pod often lunge. Whether this is to concentrate the school or a superior method for that location is open to opinion.
feeding humpback whale
This sequence was repeated many times, here is one from another angle. Just visible on the left are the pleats of the enormous throat pouch, they can scoop a lot of water.
Humpback whale fin and seagull
High five!

Conjecture; Mommy was teaching the kid about fishin'. The subsurface arc she swam concentrated to the area that Jr. netted. He was learning how to bubble net with the big boys. Alternative, his rapid rise herded the school as much as she did and everyone eats more.

There is a lot of feebly supported conjecture in this diary, probably athropomorphism also. But these are my thoughts as I observed these great creatures, not intended to be
definitive, but rather the subjective experience.  

Viewing whales from a boat. Treat you neighbors respectfully, don't chase them, do not approach too closely.  Sitting still with motor idling so they can track you easily and letting the whales come to you is the best and safest way to observe closely.  They can and do avoid boats, but if you see a ring of bubbles immediately in front of the boat a little reverse might be in order, quickly.

But this is all old news, what's happening now in an around your village?  

Originally posted to Backyard Science on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 09:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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