Showing posts tagged as "monterey bay"

Have you seen it? A young great white shark was spotted in Monterey Harbor! Juvenile white sharks are typically found along southern California and Mexico—but warmer fall waters sometimes draw unusual guests into our bay.

Watch staffer Patrick Webster’s video of this beautiful animal

International Visitors

By Jim Covel, Director of Guest Experience

Walking around the Aquarium these days you’ll frequently hear German, French, Portuguese and other languages. The fall “shoulder season” in the travel business is very popular with international travelers, and the Aquarium is certainly a well-known destination for globetrotters. It’s fortuitous that Monterey is also the foreign language capitol of North America, home to the Monterey Institute of International Studies, Defense Language Institute and other organizations that attract language experts. As a result, we’re blessed with staff and volunteers with diverse language skills.

Whales

The humans traveling through Monterey from all over the world are only part of the international visitors we see this time of the year. We also see a variety of migrating wildlife as well, and the view from our Wildlife Viewing Station is alive with these other visitors.

The humpback whales being seen daily are better described as seasonal residents, as they spend the summer and fall in Monterey Bay feeding, then retire to warm Central American waters for the winter. Our blue whales fit a similar pattern. We have already been seeing gray whales in the bay, and they usually appear in the winter on their way to Mexico—their travel pattern is certainly confused this year!

Birds

While these marine mammals are impressive travelers, migrating several thousand miles each year between northern feeding grounds and tropical winter waters, birds win this travel competition. Shearwaters pass through Monterey Bay in the tens of thousands, from feeding areas as far north as Alaska to their winter homes in New Zealand, Tasmania and other destinations in the Southern Hemisphere. The sooty shearwater may fly up to 40,000 miles per year in an effort to chase summer from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Hemisphere. We’ve been watching flocks of tiny phalaropes on their way from arctic nesting areas to wintering grounds off the shores of Peru and Ecuador.

I’m always impressed that a bird smaller than your fist, weighing less than the change in your pocket, can fly over 6,000 miles in a few months’ time. These massive migrations are only possible with the strategic distribution of critical refueling stops along the route. Those refueling stops are wetland areas that provide specific food, water and quiet resting areas for migrating birds. Wetland areas were already in short supply, and with the drought in much of the West the situation has become critical. Wildlife authorities have been creating emergency wetland areas on the Pacific Flyway this fall to avoid disaster by giving millions of migrating birds a chance to recharge and refuel.

Fortunately the waters of Monterey Bay have been rich in food this year and have provided a welcome respite for a remarkable array of wildlife, and have attracted humans from all over the world to enjoy the show that nature is staging for us.

Watch our Monterey Bay cam live

(Humpback photo by Jim Capwell/Divecentral.com)

Ever experienced a mola “fly by?” Our jellies aquarist Wyatt Patry did, and he captured it on video!

Learn more about the crazy-looking ocean sunfish


Happy #WhaleWednesday! Did you know humpback whales can be identified by their flukes, or tails? Each fluke has unique coloring, scratches, bumps—and hitchhiking barnacles!Learn more(Photo: Jim Capwell/Divecentral.com)

Happy #WhaleWednesday! Did you know humpback whales can be identified by their flukes, or tails? Each fluke has unique coloring, scratches, bumps—and hitchhiking barnacles!

Learn more

(Photo: Jim Capwell/Divecentral.com)

This #WhaleWednesday, lunge for lunch! Humpback whales corral schools of anchovies with air bubbles and swim through them, mouths gaping. A single humpback can consume up to 3,000 lbs per day! Learn more(Photo: Efren B. Adalem)

This #WhaleWednesday, lunge for lunch! Humpback whales corral schools of anchovies with air bubbles and swim through them, mouths gaping. A single humpback can consume up to 3,000 lbs per day!

Learn more

(Photo: Efren B. Adalem)

Whales? Check. Dolphins? Check. Seals, sea lions and otters? Triple check! Monterey Bay is still teeming with marine mammals. On Friday, staff and guests spotted eight different species from our wildlife viewing station—in 30 minutes!

Learn more

(Top photo: Dan Albro, Bottom photos: Jim Capwell/Divecentral.com)

It’s #WhaleWednesday! Have you been enjoying this amazing season on the bay? Check out our live Monterey Bay Cam(Jim Capwell/DiveCentral.com) 

It’s #WhaleWednesday! Have you been enjoying this amazing season on the bay?

Check out our live Monterey Bay Cam

(Jim Capwell/DiveCentral.com) 

Jumping for joy? Scientists have speculated about why whales—like this humpback calf—breach. Communication? To remove parasites? Or maybe it just feels good to be alive in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary! Watch our live Monterey Bay cam(Thanks to Giancarlo Thomae/Sanctuary Cruises for the great photo!)

Jumping for joy? Scientists have speculated about why whales—like this humpback calf—breach. Communication? To remove parasites? Or maybe it just feels good to be alive in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary! 

Watch our live Monterey Bay cam

(Thanks to Giancarlo Thomae/Sanctuary Cruises for the great photo!)


The ocean sunfish and by-the-wind sailor are so nice, scientists named them twice! Watch as a Mola mola munches a Velella velella! Thanks to staffers Anneliese Kupfrian and Patrick Webster for the great video!

Learn more


Have you seen them? With mom close by, harbor seal pups lounge on rocks near our decks. Awkward on land, they’re sleek and agile in the water as they speed after their next meal. Learn more(Photo: Gene Barclift)

Have you seen them? With mom close by, harbor seal pups lounge on rocks near our decks. Awkward on land, they’re sleek and agile in the water as they speed after their next meal. 

Learn more

(Photo: Gene Barclift)

About me

The Monterey Bay Aquarium, perched on the edge of a world-famous coastline, is your window to the wonders of the ocean. It’s located on historic Cannery Row in Monterey and is open daily except Christmas Day.

For more information about our animals and exhibits, and to view our live web cams, please visit www.montereybayaquarium.org.

Hours of operation vary by season. Daily schedules and tickets are available on our website or by calling
(831) 648-4800.