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Journey to Baja California: Gaining a New Perspective on Gray Whales

A female gray whale greets visitors to its Baja California breeding lagoon during a special whale-watching excursion with Birch Aquarium at Scripps.

By Audrey Evans, whale watching coordinator

Earlier this season, Birch Aquarium at Scripps teamed up with Andiamo Tour Mexico to embark on a remarkable expedition to two gray whale breeding lagoons in [...]

Whale Watching: The Grays Turn Northward

Migrating gray whales pass San Diego’s coastline. Photo by Elizabeth Argyle.

By Bekah Logan, Birch Aquarium naturalist

It’s February and whale watching in San Diego is still in full swing. We’re nearly halfway through the season, and so far, passengers aboard the Flagship Cruises and Events’ vessel Marietta have seen more than 300 gray whales!

In late [...]

Thar She Blows: Birch Aquarium launches 13th season of whale watching

Gray Whale Migration Map

by Audrey Evans, Birch Aquarium whale watching coordinator

December 26 marked the start of Birch Aquarium’s 13th season of whale watching with Flagship–San Diego Harbor Excursion. Aquarium naturalists and volunteers will be out on the open ocean twice per day through April 14, searching for whales, dolphins, sea lions, birds and [...]

Update: Seadragon Conservation Breeding Program

This fall, Birch Aquarium at Scripps has been busy preparing to launch our new seadragon conservation initiative.

Our exhibit designers are working closely with the Husbandry Department to design a state-of-the-art, onsite laboratory that will support efforts to breed this incredible species. They are using valuable information gained from aquarist Leslee Matsushige when she traveled to Australia last [...]

Seadragons, Part 8: Google+ Hangout

Last week we hosted our first Google+ Hangout – a live video chat on Google’s new social networking platform – featuring aquarium co-creator Leslee Matsushige. Leslee recently returned from a special research trip to Australia to study seadragons in the wild (read Parts 1-7 here).

Hear Leslee talk about that amazing trip and find out how [...]

Seadragons, Part 6: Leafy Seadragons

By Leslee Matsushige, aquarium co-creator

Our first excursion after arriving in Adelaide was to Victor Harbor – about 80 km (~50 miles) south on the coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula – to dive at Rapid Bay Jetty. This site comprises an older, longer wooden jetty (now closed to the public) and a shorter jetty that was recently built following campaigning by [...]

Seadragons, Part 5: Diving at Flinder’s and Visting Melbourne Aquarium

By Leslee Matsushige, aquarium co-curator

I’m happy to report that our second trip to Flinder’s Jetty was a success!

If you recall, we were greeted with murky water during our first attempt to dive at the Jetty, a well known site for weedy seadragons. Strong northernly winds didn’t make us feel optimistic about our second [...]

Seadragons, Part 4: The Importance of this Trip

By Leslee Matsushige, aquarium co-curator

Each day I’m in Australia, I realize just how important this trip is for Birch Aquarium at Scripps and for me, personally.

Our aquarists have learned a great deal about caring for seadragons over the past several years, but nothing can compare to the experience of seeing the animals in their [...]

Seadragons, Part 3: Sydney Aquarium & Diving in Melbourne

By Leslee Matsushige, aquarium co-curator

Our research in Australia continues.

On Friday, Scripps Institution of Oceanography professor Greg Rouse and I had the great opportunity to meet Sydney Aquarium head aquarist Amy Wilkes. She gave us a tour of their incredible aquarium (they have a very interesting platypus exhibit) and showed us the behind-the-scenes set-up [...]

Seadragons, Part 2: Diving in Sydney

By Leslee Matsushige, aquarium co-curator

Hello from Down Under!

Scripps Institution of Oceanography professor Greg Rouse and I arrived in Sydney on April 25 to a very windy day. We met up with  Nerida Wilson, a research scientist at the Australian Museum who’s also a Scripps research associate. Nerida has been studying seadragon biology with Greg [...]