From the Diary of a Whale Watcher by Alexandra Morton
Orca Book Publishing, Vancouver, BC 1993
From my school library.
This is a wonderful science book for middle readers. Alexandra Morton, a whale researcher from British Columbia explains how she became interested in studying Orcas (Killer Whales – Orcinus orca), how she tracked one captive whale’s family into the waters of Western Canada and what it is like studying these magnificent animals.
She includes notes from her observation diary, beautiful photos, and many sidebars on Orca families, behavior and the environment they live in. Her writing is very clear and direct and any student reading this book is going to learn something about what it takes to study these animals in their environment.
0740 – Drop the hydrophone. At first all I hear is the snapping of shrimp and the strange little chirps I hear only in the inlets. My underwater microphone, called a hydrophone, allows me to hear beneath the surface. Above the water all may be quiet, but underwater I can hear rock cod grunting, otters piping, many unidentified sounds like little chirps, and, of course, the calls of killer whales. The whales can be very loud and heard ten miles away if there are not too many boat engines drowning them out. Often the best way to find whales is by listening for them. From page 19.
Alex Morton runs an organization called the Raincoast Research Society which can be found here.