Saturday, August 26, 2006

Horned Puffins!

August 23, 2006

So what might be even more impressive than a tufted puffin? The answer comes in a much rarer bird here in Southeast Alaska, the horned puffin. With its' bright bill and white chest this animal really stands out! It is such a pleasure to watch these birds in such a pristine surrounding...

Tufted Puffins!

August 22, 2006

They call them "poor man's penguins" but I believe these beautiful birds may be the most strikingly colored sea birds in the northern hemisphere. Here on South Marble Island in Glacier Bay National Park the nesting season is drawing to a close, and these adult tufted puffins will be leaving soon. Seems fall (and winter) may be coming early this year...

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Bubble-net feeding humpback whales on Chichagof Island

August 16, 2006

I NEVER get tired of watching (and filming) humpback whales as they co-operatively bubble-net feed here in Southeast Alaska. Here is the latest sequence of images, filmed off the east coast of Chichagof Island. Enjoy!

Brown bear mother and cub

August 15, 2006

This mother brown bear is teaching her one and-a-half year old cub the ins and outs of salmon fishing in Southeast Alaska. Side by side they chase their fish down! Sometimes the cub wants to simply stretch out on the nearest log and watch mom do all the work! I'm sure that parents everywhere can relate!

Brown Bears on Chichagof Island

August 15, 2006

Here on the east side of Chichagof Island in Southeast Alaska the salmon are returning to their natal streams and the Alaskan coastal brown bears can hear the dinner bell sounding for miles away! At this little stream we had eleven brown bears all fishing for salmon at the same time. It made for a tense stand off for a few of the smaller bears, but all seemed to get their fill before total darkness set in!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Jumbo Squid Fishery in Baja

August 6, 2006

Here in the small mining town of Santa Rosalia on the Gulf of California side of the Baja Peninsula we have come to witness one of the largest panga fisheries in Mexico...Jumbo Squid! These animals show up just outside of town from April through November literally in the hundreds of thousands strong! Fisherman go out at night to catch the squid (Dosidicus gigas) and then bring the cleaned catch back to town for sale. Current value for a cleaned squid that might weigh as much as 30 kilos is less than 10 cents a pound! Each night more than 100 metric tons of this animal is harvested here in Santa Rosalia, with more than 100,000 metric tons being taken throughout the Gulf of California in a good year! No bait is necessary to catch a squid, simply lower a botera (special glow-in-the-dark squid hook) and the squid attack! They are then hauled to the surface on the hand line, where they are guarranteed to squirt water from their powerful jet on to everyone and everything (including my cameras!) It is hard and sweaty work that doesn't pay well at all, but the fishery runs six nights a week (Saturday night is a night off), and will continue as long as the squid stay...

Visit to see my other photos.

Critically Endangered Loggerhead Turtles

August 4, 2006

Here in the small town of Puerto Lopez Mateos on the Pacific side of the Baja Peninsula the critically endangered loggerhead sea turtle gathers in huge numbers to feast on pelagic red crabs. The turtles are all born in Japan, then make an incredible swim all the way across the Pacific Ocean to Baja where they feed and mature, a process that may take as much as 30 years. When the animals are just reaching sexual maturity they head back across the Pacific Ocean to their natal beaches in Japan to mate and lay eggs. The first satellite tagged turtle to do this was named Adelita and it took her just over a year to make the return trip! Who knew? No one did until the late 1990's that this whole process was going on! Along with the knowledge about the migration pattern came the realization that many of these turtles along the coast of Baja are being caught in small scale gill-net and long-line fisheries. For the last four days we have been working with a group called Proyecto Caguama to help bring attention to this needless destruction of such magnificent animals. The problems are many, but this group is working hard within the local fishing community to bring awareness and help change patterns that are deep-rooted among the inhabitants here. On Saturday, August 12th, the group will hold it's 4th annual Turtle Festival in Lopez Mateos, with an expected crowd of around 1,500 people! Look for more info as it becomes available!!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Blues at sunset

July 28, 2006

After a full day with the largest animal to ever live on the planet the sun slowly sets into the western horizon here in Santa Monica Bay. Oblivious to the lives of millions of people, all within 50 miles of this very spot, these magnificent Blue Whales continue to behave just as their ancestors have for millions of years prior to this moment. What a dichotomy exists between the lives of men and whales here in Southern California, I think to myself as the sun slips below the horizon...

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Short-beaked Common dolphins!

July 26, 2006

A beautiful morning with more short-beaked common dolphins near Punta Vicente off Palos Verdes, California. There were an amazing amount of calves in this particular group, leaping and playing next to their mothers in the early morning light!

Visit to see my other photos.

Tail (tale) of a Whale

July 25, 2006

What's in a tail, you might ask? When it comes to Blue Whales off the coast of California it turns out that the tail has quite a tale to tell! We have come to know some of these animals individually all based upon the shape and marking of their flukes (tail). Only a small percentage of Blue Whales will normally "fluke-up" dive, showing their magnificent tail for one and all to see, as have these amazing whales pictured here. There is even one whale who has upturned ends to his flukes, making him look like a NASCAR racer!

Visit to see my other photos.

Santa Monica Bay Dolphins!

July 24, 2006

These short-beaked common dolphins are so abundant here in the waters surrounding Los Angeles, California that we have literally seen them by the hundreds each and every day for a week! What beauty and grace as they leap and cavort around the boat. Pure dolphin magic to be sure!

Visit to see my other photos.