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The Daily Bucket is a regular feature of the Backyard Science group.  It is a place to note of any observations you have made of the world around you.  Insects, weather, meteorites, climate, birds and/or flowers.  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 are Humpback whales bubble netting in S.E. Alaska, Clarence Strait by Prince of Wales Island. These were taken in July 2012, I probably could have gotten more similar last summer but somehow I got preoccupied with less important things.

Someone I've know for years untold came to visit for a while a couple of years ago. He has been around a camera a time or two. I can drive a boat.  All photography credited to: R.A. Bateman

under the orange bubbles lurk monsters of the deep! But very good neighbors none the less.

One of these wonderful creature's adaptations is a flexible but incredibly strong lower jaw. They can pop their mouths open traveling at full speed and scoop 15,000 (!) gallons of seawater in an instant. Another adaptation that makes this work is a pouch of pleated extensible blubber on the ventral surface forming a huge extra 'mouth' cavity.

These humpback Whales have just risen through the circular curtain of bubbles that they released around a school of herring. This style of fishing is called bubble netting. We counted tails rising as they dove to repeat this process. 14 whales in this pod was the agreed count. They fished within a span of a couple of miles for several hours, sometimes near, manytimes not so.

Humpbacks bubble netting

above in lightbox
The group above include an infant in the gap on the left side and a juvenile on the right.
The infant is 6 months or less old, at 6 months they start feeding on fish and krill to supplement nursing.   For teachers (paid or not):      

Humpbacks bubble netting
This group has been up a shorter time than those previous, any sooner than this and the photo depicts spray, splashes and confusing bits of whale anatomy. It's exciting to watch, but doesn't make a very informative picture.
Bright colored Irish Lord Fish
The Irish Lord views these proceedings with alarm.

Below mostly lightbox, a sequence from one bubble net

humpback whales bubble netting in S.E. Alaska

The big guy in the center should give some idea of how big the throat pouch is.

and everyone goes down for more

humpback whales sounding

Big splash in four pictures. Imagine it, the splash was magnificent.

Humpback Whale breaching
Humpback Whale breaching
Humpback Whale breaching
Humpback Whale breaching
You should have been there.

So, what's new in your backyard?

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