Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Baldy's family grows

On the 4th of January the Georgia Department of Natural Resources aerial survey team photographed Orion with her first calf.  Orion #3240 is the 2002 calf of Baldy #1240.  Baldy now has at least 11 grand calves from three of her daughters and one son.  Bugs has had five calves, #1503 has had four calves, Orion her first calf and son #2140 has fathered a calf.

Orion gets her name from three callosity islands on the left side of her head between the bonnet (at the tip of the rostrum) and the coaming (before the blowholes) that are reminiscent of the three stars in the constellation Orion's belt.  Names that reflect a characteristic of the callosities or other markings or scars are helpful in trying to remember particular whales.  Right whales do not all have names but there is a concerted attempt to name 15 or so a year.