June 14 2018 Sightings on our 3 hour Whale Wildlife Tour
The Great Blue Heron is the largest and most wide spread heron in North America. It is a large bird with slate gray body, browinsh neck streaked with white, a white face, crown with blackish plumes. Long necked, long legged wadder flies with its neck pulled in, s shaped and legs trailing.
Fun Facts :
*Great Blue Herons are very tall standing 122 cm (48 in) with a wingspan of 188 cm (74 in)
*Great blue herons look enormous in flight, with a wingspan of over 6 feet.
*Nest building begins in February when the male chooses a territory and actively displays to attract a female. The nest is usually high up in a tree, the male brings the female sticks, twigs who constructs a platform lined with strips of bark, small twigs and conifer needles.
*Both parents take turns incubating the eggs for about 4 weeks. The female lays 2-6 pale blue eggs. The parents bring food to the nest for two months, the young fledge at about 60 days.
The Bald Eagle is the only eagle exclusive to North America. They are at the top of the food chain and have no natural enemies. Adult bald eagles are dark brown with white heads and tails. They have hooked yellow beaks, large talons and oversized feet equipped with spikes, called spicules. Eagles also have super vision which allows them to see four to seven times farther than humans.
*A male bald eagle average weight is 2.7-4 kg with a wing span of more than 2 meters. The female bald eagle is bigger than the male, average weight 4.5-6.8.
*Young eagles are called eaglets, they are gray and fluffy when they first hatch. Their feathers turn dark brown at about 12 weeks old and ready to fledge. Their tail and head feathers won’t turn white until they are four years old. They have a 50% survival rate in the first year.
*Bald eagles nests are huge and resemble a nest of sticks like Big Bird’s from Sesame Street. The mating pair return to the nest year after year adding material to it, resulting in the nest weighing up to one ton and measuring two meters across and three meters deep.
*The Bald Eagle is Canada”s largest bird of prey. It is an opportunistic feeder, stealing and scavenging food from other animals. Their diet consists primarily of fish, but if fish is scarce they will feed on rabbits, birds, squirrels and even young deer.
Humpback Whales are the acrobats and songsters of the great whales. They are the fifth largest of all whales. To identify a humpback whale look for a dark gray to black body, black and white pectoral flippers. When a humpback dives watch for a round hump underneath its short nubby dorsal fin. Watch for the underside of its huge tail flukes which are black and white patterned with scars. Humpback flukes are like human finger prints, no two are the same.
*Humpback whales are about 48-62.5 ft (14.6-19 meters) long and weigh about 40 tonnes (36 metric tons). Their flippers can grow to 16 ft (5 meters) long. Their massive tails, Flukes can be 18 ft (5.5 meters) wide. Newborn calves are about 16 ft (5 meters) and weigh 2 tonnes. Like most whales the female is bigger than the male.
*Only the males sing on the breeding grounds, some 20 meters below the surface. It is a mystery as to why they sing or how he knows what to sing. The song changes from season to season but all the male humpbacks on each breeding ground sings the same song.
*Humpback whales are the acrobats, they are able to lift their entire 40 tonne bodies completely out of the water. This is known as breaching. Humpbacks can reach speeds of up to 10 knots which is about 18.5 km per hour.
*Humpbacks eat about 1.5 tonnes per day, feeding on krill, small shrimp like animals and small fish.