Marine mammals-especially whales-are really popular with the American public.
A growing interest in firsthand observation of whales brings many hopeful whale watchers to the coast. Whale watching is something you definitely get better at with practice, but it takes some patience.
Once you have seen what you are looking for, additional sightings are much easier, and you will start to see more details of whale behavior.
Even without scientific training, you can contribute to what science is learning about whales. One way to do this is to build accurate and systematic habits of observing, identifying, recording, and reporting your whale sightings.
Here are a few tips. Remember, patience is a virtue!
Figure 1 [omitted].Blowing and diving characteristics of some of the large whales (reproduced by permission from Gordon C. Pike, Guide to the Whales, Porpoises and Dolphins of the North-East Pacific and Arctic Waters of Canada and Alaska).
What to look for
Here are some keys to identifying most large whales along the Oregon coast:
The Mark O. Hatfield Marine Science Center of Oregon State University would like to hear about dead whales if you see them on the beach. Call Bruce Mate at (541) 8673011.
You might find this form useful to keep a record of your whale sightingsbut use the form that suits you best. Oregon State Universitys Hatfield Marine Science Center would appreciate a copy of your records. You may send them to:
Dr. Bruce Mate
Hatfield Marine Science Center
2010 Marine Science Drive
(Newport, Oregon 97365.
Thanks for your help!
Columbia River South Jetty
Harris Beach State Park
RECORD OF WHALE SIGHTINGS
Name of observer
Location of observations
0-25 25-50 50-75 75-100
Direction of travel
Time of observation
No. of whales in group
This publication is funded by Oregon Sea Grant through NOAA, Office of Sea Grant and Extramural Programs, U.S. Department of Commerce, under grant no.NA76RG0476, project no. A/SGE-4. Oregon Sea Grant is based at, and receives support from,Oregon State University, a Land Grant, Sea Grant, and Space Grant institution funded in part by the Oregon legislature.
Sea Grant combines basic research, education, and technology transfer to serve the public. This national network of universities works with others in the private and public sectors to meet the changing
environmental, economic, and social needs of people in America's coastal, ocean, and Great Lakes regions.
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