Hello everyone!! Well, it’s that time of year again, time to name the young returning calves and new “unknown” humpbacks in the Gulf of Maine. I have been part of the naming for the past 4 years and last year I had the chance to name 12 whales! How the naming now works is researchers and naturalists from the Gulf of Maine area (including us up here in the Bay of Fundy) submit names and after a submission period we can vote online and the name with the greatest number of votes wins….it’s that easy and it’s fun! I really enjoy being a part of this process and I consider it an honour to be able to give these whales a great name.
This year we are starting with the previously sighted humpback calves. These are calves that were born in 2008 or earlier and have been recorded on the summer feeding grounds without their mom. I have mentioned how they name whales many times before on the blog but here is all of the information again…
Humpbacks are named based on the black and white pigmentation on the underside of their fluke (tail). Basically you want to look for an obvious patter or black mark (they will use the “negative” white make but we really prefer a strong black marking) and think of a name, usually an noun…but not always. There are some rule when naming humpbacks
– Each name can only be used once
– Names can not be gender specific….so even if you think of a name like “Daisy” because you see a flower patter on the tail that name will not be choosen because it is also a female’s name.
– Must be for a mark on the tail (sometimes the dorsal fin or the trailing edge of the fluke) and not a specific event related to the whale.
– No brand names aloud…humpbacks will not be used for advertising
– the names should be short and one word
Here are the previously sighted calves that Quoddy Link saw during the 2009 season and they currently need some great names…
Touchdown 2008 calf
Clamp 2008 calf
Stay tuned for more whales that need some names, we have 3 unknowns that will also need some names.
Cheers and THANKS for your help,