Category: Local Wildlife

Visitations

By , April 15, 2019

I’ve complained before about our local wildlife’s reluctance to perform on cue for homestead visitors (see Visitors Have Arrived: Cue the Whales). It happened again over the weekend.

moose in the Zeiger family homestead dooryard

“Hmm, what to do now? Maybe chow down on a cherry sapling?” Our uninvited visitor considers her next move (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

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Video: Killer Whales in the Canal

By , April 2, 2019

Of the many whales that visit the fjord in front of the homestead, my favorite, perhaps the most dramatic, are the killer whales, also called orcas.

On March 29th, around noon, I heard exhalations outside, so I grabbed my camera and went to investigate. A pair of killer whales, a cow and bull, swam up Lynn Canal, passing the homestead. The cow swam about 100 yards off our beach, while the bull plowed by at least 200 yards out, possibly more. I decided to take a chance on shooting some video, and managed to get a couple grainy sequences of the bull surfacing.

In the video, you can hear the exhalations of both animals, the female’s coming slightly before the visible “blow” from the male.

Chasing moving whales around with a viewfinder at that distance isn’t easy. I’m grateful for the 30 seconds of useful footage I got this time!

killer whale

The killer whale cow passes by closer to our beach (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

The herring should arrive soon, which generally means more whale activity. Friends from Juneau showed us photos of a sperm whale carcass that washed up on the beach across from Eldred Rock Lighthouse, south of here. That’s a rare event!

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