Back to the Bay

Well it’s back to Falmouth, Massachusetts for the 2014 Cape Cod Bay field season! I arrived Tuesday and while we haven’t had much luck with the weather, there is one mom/calf pair waiting in the Bay for us – #2123, Couplet. (The Duke team got a tag on her just this past season – see the blog post here). We are still waiting and hoping the rest of the mom/calves will show up soon! Here is an updated mom list for the 2014 calving season (view the previous list in our earlier blog) and what we are hoping to accomplish in CCB this year:

#1321 (Mono): a female first seen in 1983, making her at least 31. This birth is her 5th calf! Neither team got a tag on this mom in the calving grounds this year, so we would love to do that this season!

#1425: a female first seen in 1982, making her at least 32. Neither team tagged this mom either. Another priority!

#2040 (Naevus): a 24 year old female born in 1990. Naevus’ mother is #1140 (Wart), who was “famous” last year for having her calf in Cape Cod Bay. Naevus’ father is unknown.

#2123 (Couplet): a 23 year old female, Couplet was born in 1991. Her mother is #1123 (Sonnet) and her grandmother is #1142 (Kleenex). Couplet’s father was #1144 (Dingle).

#2503 (Boomerang): a 19 year old female born in 1995. Her mother is #1503 (Trilogy) and her grandmother is #1240 (Baldy). Baldy is at least 40 and was just spotted last year. Boomerang’s father is #1043.

#2645 (Insignia): an 18 year old female born in 1996. Her mother is #1245 (Slalom) and her grandmother is Wart. That means Insignia’s mother Slalom is the sister of Naevus. Although we don’t know the father of either of the sisters, it ultimately makes Naevus the aunt of Insignia! Pretty neat! I often wonder if they know…Insignia’s father is #1170 (Legs).

#2746: a 17 year old female born in 1997. Her mother is #1946 (a 25 year old female) and her grandmother is #1246 (Loligo). #2746 shares a father with Insignia, #1170 (Legs), making them half-sisters. While we did tag #2746’s calf in the southeast, we didn’t get a chance to put a tag on mom. This will be another priority for us here in Cape Cod Bay.

#3157: a 13 year old female born in 2001. Her mother is #1157 (Moon) and her father is #1033, making her half-sister with #1301 (Half-note).

#3546: a 9 year old female born in 2005. Her mother is #1246 (Loligo), so that makes her aunt to #2746 even though she is younger! This is the first calf for this young female.

An update on #1301 (Half Note): a 31 year old female, Half Note was born in 1983. This was her 6th calf, and just as we feared, she seems to have already lost this one as well. Read more about the unusual case of Half Note in a New England Aquarium blog post from 2012.

Again, great thanks to the New England Aquarium for giving us the North Atlantic right whale catalog. and the DNA bank at Trent University for their work on paternities! Wish us luck this season and check back often!

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