Thursday, May 31, 2012

New Hope for Southern Residents

L119 was born recently to 25 year old L77 and is the second documented calf for this whale. The first was seen in 2010 for just one day. L pod is part of the southern resident killer whale endangered population now totaling 89 animals (CWR). 190435575_b2b488f798_o- L12's

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bottlenose Dolphins use Greeting Calls

In cases where dolphin pods joined and swam together, the researchers found, such meetings were preceded by one dolphin in the group producing a signature whistle and another dolphin in the second group answering. When dolphin groups swam by one another and didn't join, these meet-and-greet whistles were absent.

Live Science

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A New Calf in J Pod!

J16 / Slick

Slick / J16 was born in 1972 and gave birth to a new baby in Puget Sound on December 17th, 2011. Slick is mother to J26 / Mike, J36 / Aiki, and J42 / Echo.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Canada Should Cooperate on Climate Change

If Canadian representatives at the UN climate change summit in Durban, South Africa won’t commit to the Kyoto Protocol and contribute to global efforts to stop climate change, they should go home and stop impeding progress.


Click to tell Japan, no disaster funds for whale slaughter!

Right now, the Japanese whaling fleet is hunting thousands of majestic whales -- guarded by a 30-million-dollar security force paid from disaster relief money! Meanwhile, Japanese children are stranded in radioactive areas with no funds to move away. Join the call to save kids, not whalers!


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Killer Whale Salmon Diet Limiting Fishery

Experts look at killer whales salmon diet with eye on limiting the fishery

A cross-border panel will determine if the salmon fishery should be limited in order to increase chances of survival for the endangered whales. Huge chinook salmon are the most prized catch on the Pacific coast for fishermen on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border, but they may soon have to share the bounty if a scientific panel links chinook and the survival of endangered southern resident killer whales. The independent, cross-border panel has recently completed the first of three workshops looking at studies connecting the abundance of chinook and the well-being of the rare killer whales. There's great interest from sport, commercial and First Nations fishermen in the recommendations because of the implications on the lucrative fishery, said panel member Andrew Trites. "Everybody is watching this very closely," said Trites, director of Marine Mammal Research at the University of B.C. Fisheries Centre.

Panel chairman Ray Hilborn said their job isn't to make a fisheries management recommendation but to evaluate the science behind an assessment that limiting the fishery will benefit the whales. The panel has about three dozen studies and reports to analyze before a decision is made at the end of 2012. Several studies have shown there's a correlation between poor survival of southern residents and low chinook abundance, Hilborn said. The professor of aquatic and fishery science at the University of Washington said both the Department of Fisheries in Canada and the Fisheries Service in the U.S. know a decision to limit the fishery will be controversial. "So if they're going to go forward with regulating these fisheries they want to be able to say, `You know it's not just our own scientists, we've had an independent panel review this stuff.'" William Stelle Jr., the regional administrator with the U.S. Department of Commerce, said in a letter issued earlier this year that if the panel recommends changes, the goal could be to implement the fisheries restrictions for the killer whale recovery plan starting as early as the 2013 salmon fishing season. Studies show that up to 90 per cent of the summer diet for the 88 southern killer whales is made of the large and fatty chinook and that a large percentage of those are returning to British Columbia's Fraser River.

Experts estimate adult orcas need up to about 290,000 calories a day. That's 10 to 34 salmon a day, depending on the size and species, or over 800,000 salmon a year. Lynne Barre, a marine biologist with the fisheries service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Washington state, said it's too soon to determine if limits would be placed on fisheries in order to protect the whales. "This is an impact we're considering," she said. "We haven't identified how or in what way a fishery would be changed in order to accommodate a need for the whales. We haven't gotten to that point." Barre, who leads the Orca recovery program in the United States, said the effort is part of an action plan to restore Washington state's Puget Sound by 2020. Plans are also in the works to keep the whales from oil spills and reduce contaminants. There's even a proposal to start tracking a whale with a satellite to see where the three pods winter. New regulations implemented this year in American waters limit the possibility of whale-vessel impacts. Limits were doubled to keep ships away from whales from 90 to 180 metres. Canadian no-go zones have been set at 100 metres. Barre said one of the most exciting proposals is an application by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to apply a small satellite tracking tag to one of the whales. Researchers are hoping the device can solve one of the biggest mysteries about where the whales travel in the winter. "It would increase our data with one deployment, to help us see how far off shore they're going, if they're staying in localized areas for extended times or if they're just transiting to and from feeding hot spots," she said. There are two different groups of resident whales off the B.C., Washington state coasts. The northern residents, which spend most of their known time in the waters off British Columbia, and the southern residents which split their time between Canadian and U.S. waters. The northern residents, with a population of about 200 whales, are similar to southern residents and have the same diet.

There are also about 500 other killer whales off the Pacific coast divided into transient and offshore groups that have a diet of mammals or sharks. Barre said helping the southern residents survive and thrive has been difficult. "It's definitely challenging because it is a trans-boundry issue because it covers a number of different types of threats, the prey, the contaminants and pollution and then vessel impact and sound." The population of the whale dipped dangerously low in the 1990s and while Barre said experts don't think it had anything to do with oil spills, they're working on a plan to keep the mammals away from potential harm. "We can use sounds, we can use these banging pipes, we can use a helicopter from the air to sort of encourage them to go in a certain direction. There's also these little underwater explosives that are generally used to keep seals and sea lions away." She said there's been plenty of concern this month about how to heard whales after several killer whales were spotted going up an Alaskan river. Three of them, including a pregnant whale, died.

Canadian Press

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Vote on Fish Farms

An application to site a new open net-cage salmon farm in the waters of Clayoquot Sound, in the heart of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, is being assessed by government regulators. Use the form below to send a message loud and clear; Say no way to uncontained salmon farming in B.C. Government must deny this application and put in place a moratorium to halt any new net-cage salmon farms in the province.


Friday, July 08, 2011

K44 - new SRKW calf

K27's new male calf K44 was spotted off San Juan Island on July 7, newest member to the Southern Resident endangered killer whale community.

Orca Network

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

BBC Human Planet











Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Happy Oceans Day!


Gooseneck Barnacles, Pollicipes ploymerus

Aggregate Anemone, Anthopleura elegantissima


Saturday, April 09, 2011

NOAA Issues Final Killer Whale Vessel Regulations

New regulations to protect killer whales in inland waters of Washington State from the effects of various vessel activities.

1. vessels must not approach any killer whale within 200 yards
2. vessels must stay out of the path of oncoming whales out to 400 yards.

Website for more information on the vessel regulations.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Ruffles / J1

The 60 year old killer whale Ruffles/J1 was last seen on Novermber 21st, 2010. He would travel with Granny/J2 (100 years old) who has been seen several times since without Ruffles. Male longevity, typically is less than females, averaging about 29 years, some live well into their 40s and up 50-60 years of age. The average lifespan for females is about 50 years, however some may reach 80-90 years of age (Ford et. al. 2000).


Ford, K.B., Ellis, G.M., Balcomb, K.C. (2000) Killer Whales: The natural History and genealogy of Orcinus orca in British Columbia and Washington. UBC Press p.22

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Offshore Killer Whales eating Sleeper Sharks

Offshore Killer Whale Teeth

John Ford and colleagues were observing the whales, they noticed them engaging in feeding behaviour. Immediately following this they discovered chunks of pink meat on the water’s surface which upon genetic analysis turned out to be the meat of at least 16 different Pacific sleeper sharks (Somniosus pacificus).


Thursday, January 06, 2011


Steller Sea Lions

The Social-10 objective is to estimate the risk and minimize the impact of human sound and military sonar. It includes suction-cup tagging, listening, and tracking of whales, dolphins, seals, and sea lions. Preliminary findings show marine mammal response varied by species, behaviour, and sound type. For example, beaked whales were more responsive than other species, like pilot whales.

Sonar's Effects on Marine Mammals - Brandon Southall

Institute of Marine Sciences - UC Santa Cruz

Thursday, December 09, 2010

SRKW Population

L54 and L108

L5 has a new calf L117, increasing the L pod population to 42 individuals.

L pod - 42
K pod - 20
J pod - 28

Making a total of 90 killer whales endangered in this community.


Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Sleeper Sharks and Sea Otter Decline

Sea Otter
Sea otter - Hotsprings Cove, Tofino BC

Sea otters off the Aleutian Islands, Alaska, have decreased drastically over the past 15 years. Transient killer whales have been suggested as a cause but sea otters are relatively low in energy reserves versus other marine mammals due to their thin blubber layer. Otters have a very thick fur layer with a million hairs per square inch to keep them warm. Their pelts is why they became extinct off the British Columbia coast during the fur trade and decimated in the Pacific. Sleeper sharks have concurrently increased in population and need to be further investigated as a cause of the sea otter decline. The change in abundance of sea otters is cause for concern as they are a top predator in the kelp forest. Sea otters feed on urchins allowing for the kelp bed to grow. The forest provides protection and is a nursery for many species of fish and invertebrates. Disease and high contaminant levels have not been ruled out as a significant contributor to the sea otter decline.

Paper - A re-evaluation of the role of killer whales Orcinus orca in a population decline of sea otters Enhydra lutris in the Aleutian Islands and a review of alternative hypotheses

Sunday, August 22, 2010

SRKW Missing Orcas 2010

Missing and presumed dead are:

- L114, new calf born to L77 in February 2010, missing when the whales returned in June.

- L73/Flash, a male born in 1986, missing summer 2010.

Flash / L73
L73 / Flash
Flash / L73

- L74/Saanich, a male also born in 1986, missing summer 2010.

Saanich / L74

- K11/Georgia, a female estimated to be born in 1933, last observed in May 2010.

K11 / Georgia

This brings the population of the Southern Resident orca community to about 87 individuals. J pod has 28 members; K pod has 19; and L pod has 40, including (approximately):
~9 post-reproductive females (over 40 years old)
~25 adult females (12-40 years old)
~19 mature or adolescent males (over 12 years old)
~21 juveniles (5-12 years old)
~13 calves (0-4 years old)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Greenland Defies IWC Rules

Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society: Greenland Defies IWC Rules by Authorizing Humpback Whaling before Hunt is Legal

Greenland obtained approval from the IWC last June to start a hunt of nine humpback whales a year but, despite acknowledging in a letter to the Commission that to begin the hunt before the mid-October deadline would be a violation of IWC regulations, it seems that the Greenland’s government has given way to hunters who want to start the killing much sooner. Greenland first sought a quota of humpback whales in 2007, arguing that its existing quota of fin and minke whales was inadequate to meet its subsistence needs. For three consecutive years, Greenland’s proposal failed, amid concerns about high levels of commercialization of whale meat intended to meet subsistence needs, and the government’s refusal to document who actually needs to eat whale meat for subsistence in Greenland. This will be the first humpback hunt in Greenlandic waters since 1986, after the quota was finally awarded in June in a controversial compromise in which Greenland gave up part of its fin and minke whale quota that it never used anyway.

full article

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Saturday, May 22, 2010


There are five species of Pacific salmon that die after spawning; Chinook, Chum, Coho, Sockeye, and Pink. Salmon return to their natal streams and rivers each year. Salmon travel thousands of miles and spend one to five years feeding in the ocean before returning to their birth streams. Spawning females dig out a gravel nests, called a redd. The males then fertilizes the eggs and the female protects the redd for one to two weeks. Alveins hatch and mature into fry, developing vertical bars for camouflage, called parr marks. After a period of feeding fry migrate downstream towards the ocean and grow into smolts adapting to their marine environment.

Oncorhynchus tshawytscha
Spring, Salmon, King, Blackmouth,
Quinnat, Chub, Tyee (14+kg)
Chinooks have a greenish-blue dark back with
long black spots, a red hue develops around
the fins and belly, male teeth are enlarged and
they have a hooked snout. Tyee reach 1.5 m
and 58 kg, average 90 cm and14 kg. Spawning
peak May to June and August to September.

O. keta
Dog Salmon
Females are a metallic
blue, males have a
checkerboard colouration,
a dark horizontal stripe, and
canine-like teeth. Average
from 4.5 to 12 kg. Spawning
peak month October.

O. kisutch
Silver Salmon
Spawning males are red on
their sides, and a bright green
on the back and head areas, with a
darker colouration on the belly, spots
on upper tail fin lobe. They also develop
a hooked jaw with sharp teeth. Females
develop a lesser-hooked snout. Coho
reach 1 m and weigh up to 14 kg, they
average between 3 to kg. Spawning
peak July to August.

O. nerka
Kokanee, Red Salmon,
Blueback Salmon
Varying shades of red resulting
in a brilliant scarlet fish with a
green head. Grow to 83 cm
and weigh up to 7 kg. Spawning
peak month August.

O. gorbuscha
Pale grey, males
develop a hump.
Get up to 76 cm
and to 5.5 kg,
average 1.5 to 2.5 kg.
Spawning peak month

On top of natural dangers from predators dangers to salmon from human activities include poor farming and forest practices, pollution, destruction of coastal wetlands and estuaries. The territory of British Columbia salmon has been decimated for decades by industrial clearcut logging. Roots of trees anchor steep slopes. Logging increases the chances of landslides filling vital spawning grounds with mud, debris, and boulders. Shade from trees is lost increasing water temperatures. Other threats include overfishing, urbanization, hydroelectric dams, and fish farms.

Salmon play an important role sustaining forest ecology. Spawners bring vital nutrients from the ocean into the forest. Carcasses are dispersed by bears and eagles providing the trees with fertilizer; nitrogen, phosphorus, and carbon. Salmon feed the rivers helping the survival of young salmon. Farmed salmon does not replicate this vital role and is detrimental to wild stocks. Dangers from fish farms include disease, pollution (including contaminating shellfish), predation on young wild salmon, and escapement (Atlantic salmon compete for food and habitat with wild stocks). Conservation actions include cleaning up salmon streams (ensuring clean and safe flowing environments), recycling, using biodegradable/organic products, and choosing wild salmon over farmed.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Rally for Wild Salmon

Parliament Buildings, May 8th @ 4pm



Sea Lice - Salmon aquaculture is prohibited in Alaska for economic and environmental reasons. Built along the shoreline, farmed salmon are particularly susceptible to diseases and parasites, such as sea lice, that can be lethal to fish. Sea lice, viruses and other pathogens have contaminated wild salmon stocks swimming nearby, many young wild salmon become infected and do not survive as a result.

Escapes - Atlantic salmon are an aggressive species that are not indigenous to the Pacific Northwest. Atlantic salmon have been found in dozens of rivers and lakes throughout British Columbia and Alaska. There is only one species of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) on the east coast whereas there are several species of salmon on the west coast. Atlantic salmon are strong competitors and have historically wiped out other east coast salmon pieces.

PCBs - Farmed fish is fattier and therefore can store more PCBs and other contaminants at levels of up to 10 times higher in farmed salmon. Polychlorinated biphenyls PCBs are mixtures of up to 209 individual chlorinated compounds. There are no known natural sources of PCBs, they are either oily liquids or solids, that have been used as coolants and lubricants in transformers, capacitors, and other electrical equipment because they don't burn easily and are good insulators. The manufacture of PCBs was stopped in the U.S. in 1977 because of evidence that they build up in the environment (bioaccumulation; concentration increase at each tropic level) and can cause serious health effects. PCBs persist in the environment, fish absorb them from contaminated sediments and their food. Government regulations allow much higher levels of these contaminants in farmed salmon than are allowed in wild salmon.

Oil spill in Gulf Proves the Need for an Oil Free Coast in British Columbia

BC First Nations and environmental groups are calling on the federal government to implement a permanent ban on oil and gas development and tanker traffic on the North Coast of British Columbia, in light of the failed attempts to clean up the oil that is spewing from a sunken rig in the Gulf of Mexico. The Living Oceans Society, with an office in Vancouver, in a statement released on April 29, commented on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and how it may impact BC oil exploration. Despite having the required safety mechanism on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, an explosion occurred, the technology to stop the oil from spilling in to the ocean failed, and the weather delayed the clean up efforts. “Over 30 years ago the federal and provincial governments prohibited oil and gas development and oil tankers on this coast because they knew that the threat of an oil spill was too great, a clean up too hard, and our ocean too valuable.” says Jennifer Lash. Executive Director of Living Oceans Society. “Now the Enbridge Gateway project is threatening to bring over 225 oil tankers onto our coast every year putting at risk our whales, birds, fish, bears, and coastline.” In March 2010, 10 First Nations from the North and Central Coast and Haida Gwaii banned oil tankers from their traditional territories. “The First Nations governments have taken action to protect the ocean that supports our communities,” says Art Sterritt, Executive Director of the Coastal First Nations. “Now we would like to see the same leadership from the federal government.” The groups are pointing to the challenges of cleaning up the spill in the Gulf of Mexico as a grim reminder that failed technology and bad weather can make the impossible even harder. “They thought they could contain the spill off the coast of Louisiana but every day they appear to be having more challenges,” says Nikki Skuce, Senior Energy Campaigner of Forest Ethics. “Apparently oil rigs are ‘considerably safer for the environment than tankers’ – which isn’t much reassurance as we’re asked to risk our coast for Enbridge’s profits. An oil spill on our North Coast would be an imaginable tragedy.” Metro Vancouver is also not immune to oil spills. In 2007, a major oil spill forced residents of a Burnaby neighbourhood from about 50 homes, and raised serious environmental concerns. In 2009, a cruise ship admitted responsibility for an oil spill on the waters of Vancouver harbour near Canada Place.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Whales Under Threat!

The International Whaling Commission has just unveiled a proposal to legalize commercial whale hunting for the first time in 24 years. Now, countries are deciding whether to support it -- or push back. Already, New Zealand's Foreign Minister has described some provisions as "unacceptable," "inflammatory," and "offensive." A massive global outcry is needed now, as other key countries choose how to react. Avaaz will deliver this petition to the Commission delegates each time it adds another 100,000 signatures -- sign below and spread the word!

Sign Petition

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I15's Rubbing and Calling

Click and scroll to - (07:23am - 07:24am)

NRKW Calls - N25, N23i

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Changing Durations of Southern Resident Killer Whale Discrete Calls

The increase of mean durations of discrete calls demonstrated here indicates that the Southern Residents are making a behavioral adjustment as a result of vessel noise. Because they are adjusting their vocal behavior, we must consider the very real possibility that engine noise is hindering their ability to communicate, and may well impact their efficiency at using acoustics to forage and navigate, as well. The results presented here underscore the importance of future research concerning the impact of vessel noise on Southern Resident killer whales and should be considered in the development of new conservation and management plans.

Click - Paper

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Fraser River Chinook Salmon Main SRKW Prey Species

Species and stock identification of prey consumed by endangered southern resident killer whales in their summer range

ABSTRACT: Recovery plans for endangered southern resident killer whales Orcinus orca have identified reduced prey availability as a risk to the population. In order to better assess this risk, we studied prey selection from 2004 to 2008 in 2 regions of the whales’ summer range: San Juan Islands, Washington and the western Strait of Juan de Fuca, British Columbia. Following the whales in a small boat, we collected fish scales and tissue remains from predation events, and feces, using a fine mesh net. Visual fish scale analysis and molecular genetic methods were used to identify the species consumed. Chinook salmon, a relatively rare species, was by far the most frequent prey item, confirming previous studies. For Chinook salmon prey, we used genetic identification methods to estimate the spawning region of origin. Of the Chinook salmon sampled, 80 to 90% were inferred to have originated from the Fraser River, and only 6 to 14% were inferred to have originated from Puget Sound area rivers. Within the Fraser River, the Upper Fraser, Middle Fraser, South Thompson River and Lower Fraser stocks were inferred to currently be sequentially important sources of Chinook salmon prey through the summer. This information will be of significant value in guiding management actions to recover the southern resident killer whale population.


Thursday, February 18, 2010


There are a total of 14862 recordings, each of which is 45 minutes long for a total of 668790 minutes of audio. If you listened for 8 hours per day, it would take you 3.8 years to listen to all the recordings.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Luna Files

First recordings of Luna, discovering him making southern resident killer whale discrete calls in Nootka Sound, British Columbia 2003. (see report)

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Dolphins Should be Treated as 'Non-Human' Persons

Bottlenose Dolphin

Dolphins have long been recognised as among the most intelligent of animals but many researchers had placed them below chimps, which some studies have found can reach the intelligence levels of three-year-old children. Recently, however, a series of behavioural studies has suggested that dolphins, especially species such as the bottlenose, could be the brighter of the two. The studies show how dolphins have distinct personalities, a strong sense of self and can think about the future.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Eathquake Kills Spearm Whales

An earthquake in the Ionian Sea occurred on Nov 3 and possibly ruptured the sinuses of a pod of sperm whales. These air sacs are necessary for echolocation and therefore the animals could not dive, feed, or navigate causing them to become disorientated and wind up in the Adriatic Sea. As a result the family group, of seven sperm whales, became too weak and were washed ashore between December 10th and 11th on the coast of Italy in the Southern Adriatic Sea. Mass strandings of sperm whales are extremely rare in the Mediterranean, and limited to ancient times. These include a stranding of 16 near Sicily in 1734, and a stranding of six occurred in the northern Adriatic Sea in 1853.




Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Star is Born!

Enlarged breach

Southern resident killer whale Star/J46 was born to 16 year old Polaris/J28 on November 11th. Five babies have been born to this population this year L112, L113, J45, J44, and J46 with zero losses, good news for this Endangered species of now 87 members. Gestation takes 17 months and calves are often born in the fall and winter due to a spring and summer mating season. A firstborn calf can be stillborn due to the toxic offload of PCBs and fire retardants from their mothers, succinct offspring have a better chance at survival. Polaris' mother J17 has the newborn J45 and will assist in the raising of Star.

Polaris J28 female b.1977

5 calves

Monday, November 02, 2009

New killer whale photo-ID catalog

It is the first photo-identification catalog of tropical pelagic killer whales. 195 individual killer were identified in the eastern tropical Pacific between 1986 and 2006. The catalog yields information on the geographic movement and external morphology of this little known population of killer whales.

Catalog Link

Friday, October 09, 2009

Offshore Killer Whale Consultations

Offshore Killer Whale Ecotype

In April 2009, COSEWIC re-assessed the status of the Offshore Killer Whale, changing it from special concern to threatened; it will now enter the legal listing process for potentially changing its status under SARA. At this stage, it is important for the public to learn more about the species being considered for re-listing, and to provide input before a decision is finalized.



Monday, October 05, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Proposed Offshore Killer Whale Management Plan

Offshore Killer Whale Teeth

The offshore killer whale is a marine mammal and is under the responsibility of the federal government. The Species at Risk Act (SARA, Section 65) requires the competent minister to prepare management plans for species listed as special concern. The offshore killer whale was listed as a species of special concern under SARA in 2003. The development of this management plan was led by Fisheries and Oceans Canada – Pacific Region, in cooperation and consultation with many individuals, organizations and government agencies, as indicated below. The plan meets SARA requirements in terms of content and process (SARA sections 65-68). Success in the conservation of this species depends on the commitment and cooperation of many different constituencies that will be involved in implementing the directions set out in this plan and will not be achieved by Fisheries and Oceans Canada or any other party alone. This plan provides advice to jurisdictions and organizations that may be involved or wish to become involved in activities to conserve this species. In the spirit of the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans invites all responsible jurisdictions and Canadians to join Fisheries and Oceans Canada in supporting and implementing this plan for the benefit of the offshore killer whale and Canadian society as a whole. The Minister will report on progress within five years.

Link - Offshore Recovery Plan

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Bere Point Eagles

The bald eagle historically ranged throughout North America and are now only found in Alaska, Canada, Florida, and the Northwest America. The bald eagle mates for life and breeds in old growth forests. During the winter these animals disperse inland to forage in rivers upon salmon. The Bald Eagle has a maximum 8-foot wingspan. Bald eagles are piebald animals, lacking pigment, resulting in a white head and tail feathers. Their beak, feet, and irises are yellow, legs are not feathered and they have short powerful toes with long talons. The front 2-hold their prey and the 3rd hind toe has the largest talon used for piercing. The body of the bald eagle is black and juveniles are brown, mottled with white.


Threats to the eagle include noise pollution, industrial contaminates (decreasing egg shell thickness), decreased food availability, and habitat destruction. Encroaching civilization decreases these bird populations. Land development and logging also threaten the survival of salmon streams, a major food source for both birds and humans. Maintaining healthy green spaces near coastal habitats can protect these species. Using organic, biodegradable products, recycling, and decreasing our carbon footprint can all decease pollutants, thereby producing a cleaner, healthier, and more productive environment.

the gods

Monday, August 10, 2009