25 January 2023
Each autumn humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) migrate previous California on their approach to spend the winter off the coast of Mexico. They may linger, nonetheless, in the event that they discover a number of anchovies. Humpback whales love anchovies.
The California anchovy inhabitants sometimes rises and falls in 10 to 30 12 months cycles primarily based on ocean situations and fishing stress. It surged in 2013 when the New York Occasions made this video (click on on the picture beneath) …
… and surged once more this summer season. In June 2022 there have been so many anchovies that individuals reported small fish raining down from the sky in San Francisco, most likely dropped by passing seabirds. In July anchovies had been trapped in oxygen-poor water and died close to shore, making a smelly mess.
There have been nonetheless a number of anchovies when the whales confirmed up this fall. Robin Agarwal took a whale be careful of Monterey Bay in early October and captured these scenes of lunge-feeding humpback whales.
The anchovies crowded shut because the predators approached. The whales pressured them to the floor the place the tiny fish leapt out of the water to flee.
The whales opened their mouths and anchovies fell in.
In a surge 12 months for anchovies, individuals feast too.
Learn extra concerning the 2013 anchovy surge within the New York Occasions: With Further Anchovies and Whale Watching.
See extra of Robin Gwen Agarwal’s photographs right here.
(humpback whale photographs in Monterey Bay by Robin Gwen Agarwal on Flickr, Inventive Commons license, meals picture from Wikimedia Commons; click on on the captions to see the originals)