Observation of the Week

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Belugas and minke whales take centre stage

After a week brimming with observations, local residents have noted a slow-down in whale activity in recent days. Is the…

|Observation of the Week 26/6/2020

Whales and Calves

Witnessing a whale accompanied by a baby – also known as a calf – brings observers great joy. But when…

|Observation of the Week 18/6/2020

A Little Stroll Out to Sea

With the return of warmer weather, kayakers and boaters are setting out to go fishing, enjoy the saline air or…

|Observation of the Week 12/6/2020

Breaching Near the Docks, Feeding Near the Beach

It’s not just the humpback whale in Montréal that’s making waves! On June 1, an observer takes advantage of a…

|Observation of the Week 5/6/2020

Things are picking up again!

Five greyish-blue backs contrast with the still snow-capped Chic-Chocs in the Gaspé. A black back near the bridges of Québec…

|Observation of the Week 28/5/2020

New Record Season in Sight for Humpbacks?

The jagged black-and-white tails of humpback whales are prompting shouts of joy from observers in Les Bergeronnes, Franquelin and Port-Cartier’s Rivière-Pentecôte sector this…

|Observation of the Week 21/5/2020

A Cumulus in the Water and a Whale in the Sky

Observers occasionally send us some of their whale photos. Depending on the species, GREMM’s team examines these photos in the…

|Observation of the Week 14/5/2020

Six Species of Whales Reported

During the summer months, thirteen species of whales feed in the rich waters of the St. Lawrence. Some species are…

|Observation of the Week 7/5/2020

You want whales?, here you go!

For cetacean enthusiasts, April is synonymous with the return of these great migrants. Increasing numbers of them are coming to…

|Observation of the Week 30/4/2020

White Backs, Black Backs, Grey Backs and a Hunchback!

From Haute-Côte-Nord to Charlevoix, belugas continue to delight observers. On April 24, a herd of about seven was spotted swimming…

|Observation of the Week 30/4/2020

An Extra Boost from the Tide

April 15: “I’m watching a herd of belugas entering the Saguenay right now,” remarks Renaud Pintiaux on the other end…

|Observation of the Week 16/4/2020

One, two, seven… twelve belugas!

In the course of our round of calls, most of our observers say they are delighted to be seeing migrating…

|Observation of the Week 14/4/2020

Large Rorquals in Cap-des-Rosiers

"Finally, our first observation of 2020!” writes in an observer residing in Cap-des-Rosiers in the Gaspé Peninsula. On March 29, a…

|Observation of the Week 2/4/2020

First Report of a Minke Whale in 2020

We received the first report for 2020 of a minke whale in the St. Lawrence! It was an individual out…

|Observation of the Week 26/3/2020

Spring of the Seals

“72!” That’s how many seals our collaborator Laeticia Desbordes is lucky enough to observe and carefully tally early this week…

|Observation of the Week 18/3/2020

Two Blue Whales Amidst the Ice Floes

The engines of the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker CCGS Amundsen vibrate beneath the feet of researchers hailing from a dozen…

|Observation of the Week 12/3/2020

Belugas: Whales Suited for Winter

When you’re passionate about whales, you really are. For the past fifteen years, Renaud Pintiaux has been a volunteer, employee,…

|Observation of the Week 20/2/2020

Two Humpbacks off Pointe-des-Monts

Pointe-des-Monts, February 8: You don’t need a thermometer to know the air is frigid: sea smoke hangs over the St.…

|Observation of the Week 13/2/2020

Born in Warm Waters

Before heading south to more temperate climates, let’s take a brief look at sightings here in the St. Lawrence. Posted…

|Observation of the Week 7/2/2020

Born on the Ice

Humpback whales travel to warm Caribbean waters to give birth, while North Atlantic right whales calve in the waters of…

|Observation of the Week 31/1/2020

Ice: Marine Mammals’ Friend… and Foe

"The ice is starting to form": this observation is being made almost everywhere along the St. Lawrence of late. Its…

|Observation of the Week 16/1/2020

Surprising Numbers of Whales as 2020 Kicks Off

Blues, fins, humpbacks. Minke whales. Belugas. Even harbour porpoises! Not to mention thousands of harp seals and harbour seals. The…

|Observation of the Week 8/1/2020

A Few Seals and Minke Whales

With the onset of winter, observations are becoming fewer and farther between. Most cetaceans have migrated to the Caribbean or…

|Observation of the Week 16/12/2019

In Search of the Sperm Whale

November 27: In GREMM’s (Group for Research and Education on Marine Mammals) offices in Tadoussac, staff members are busy working…

|Observation of the Week 4/12/2019

Dozens of Humpbacks and Thousands Of Seals Linger On

With the short days of November and the appearance of the first ice, observers on the water are growing more…

|Observation of the Week 2/12/2019
Christian Ramp

Observer Portraits: Christian Ramp

This article is part of a series of portraits of people involved in some way with whales on the North…

|Observation of the Week 27/11/2019
Paulette Landry

Observer Portraits: Paulette Landry

This article is part of a series of portraits of people involved in some way with whales on the North…

|Observation of the Week 27/11/2019

Leaving the Estuary

November 20, Cap de Bon-Désir in Les Bergeronnes: our collaborator Renaud Pintiaux settles down to take a few pictures of…

|Observation of the Week 21/11/2019
Portrait Jane-Anne Cormier

Observer Portraits: Jane-Anne Cormier

This article is part of a series of portraits of people involved in some way with whales on the North…

|Observation of the Week 31/10/2019

Observer Portraits: Guy Côté

This article is part of a series of portraits of people involved in some way with whales on the North…

|Observation of the Week 31/10/2019

Multiple Species in a Single Glance

For his last outing of the season, a recreational fisherman sets out in La Tabatière, in Quebec’s Basse-Côte-Nord region. While his…

|Observation of the Week 31/10/2019
Jacques Gélineau

Observer Portraits: Jacques Gélineau

This article is part of a series of portraits of people involved in some way with whales on the North…

|Observation of the Week 31/10/2019
Jean-Louis Frenette

Observer Portraits: Jean-Louis Frenette

This article is part of a series of portraits of people involved in some way with whales on the North…

|Observation of the Week 31/10/2019

Observer Portrait: Sylvie Savard

This article is part of a series of portraits of people involved in some way with whales on the North…

|Observation of the Week 30/10/2019

Observer Portraits: Marie Karine Maltais

This article is part of a series of portraits of people involved in some way with whales on the North…

|Observation of the Week 30/10/2019
Portrait Huguette Thibeault

Observer Portraits: Huguette Thibeault

This article is part of a series of portraits of people involved in some way with whales on the North…

|Observation of the Week 30/10/2019

Observer Portrait: Laurence Pagé

This article is part of a series of portraits of people involved in some way with whales on the North…

|Observation of the Week 30/10/2019

En Route to Winter Quarters

As the number of eyes scanning the water decreases, the number of sightings reported is also on the decline. Are…

|Observation of the Week 24/10/2019

Pilot Whales?

Two observers, one in Les Escoumins (north shore), the other in Baie-des-Sables (south shore), asked the following question this week:…

|Observation of the Week 17/10/2019

Autumn is for Humpbacks

Seven black-and-white tails rise into the air one after the other before disappearing into the dark river. “It’s a ballet…

|Observation of the Week 3/10/2019

Minke Whales and Their Flair

Perhaps because they prefer coastal habitats, minke whales are one of the most frequently observed cetacean species in the St.…

|Observation of the Week 25/9/2019

Rumba!

A three-way ballet… a race in which body touches body. All around the massive but elegant blue whales, water splashes,…

|Observation of the Week 19/9/2019

Whales in the Storm

The sighting map appears a little sparse this week. Have all the whales left? Not necessarily. Weather conditions prevented many…

|Observation of the Week 13/9/2019

Humpbacks Aplenty and Blue Whale Tails!

A long-time observer and former resident of Tadoussac sets out on a whale-watching cruise on September 1. The skyscape reflects…

|Observation of the Week 5/9/2019

Summer not quite over for the whales

August 28: A bright-eyed naturalist returns to the wharf in Percé. No sooner does the boat leave the docks when…

|Observation of the Week 29/8/2019
Deux rorquals à bosse

Thirteen Humpback Whales and Their Little Ones

We often talk about endangered species, but we rarely emphasize how well other species are doing. And humpback whale populations…

|Observation of the Week 21/8/2019

Out of the Ordinary

August 7: At the lookout in Baie Sainte-Marguerite in the Saguenay Fjord National Park, a naturalist scans the bay for…

|Observation of the Week 16/8/2019

Cetacean Acrobats

The pointed head and long, slender body rise to the sky like a rocket before the animal lands heavily on…

|Observation of the Week 9/8/2019

Tiny Calf Will Become Giant

Calves spend their time learning to swim, hunt and move with agility by imitating their mother and other adults. Within…

|Observation of the Week 25/7/2019

Noteworthy Fish and Whales Galore

Last week, it was white-sided dolphins in Gaspé Bay. This week, killer whales, the largest species in the dolphin family,…

|Observation of the Week 17/7/2019

First Dolphins of the Year and a Great-Grandmother

Measuring 2 to 2.7 metres long, their toned bodies are black, white, grey and yellowish-beige. Atlantic white-sided dolphins! Fifteen or…

|Observation of the Week 11/7/2019

Fins on the Horizon!

Although whales were scarce in the Bonaventure Island sector last July, this year they have been plentiful. “We're spoiled,” says…

|Observation of the Week 5/7/2019

Large Rorquals from the North Shore to the Gaspé Peninsula

In calm weather, the spouts of large rorquals can be heard hundreds of metres away, but above all, they can…

|Observation of the Week 2/7/2019

Tic Tac Toe, Snowball et Leprechaun

Le 16 juin en après-midi, la mer est lisse et silencieuse devant les Grandes-Bergeronnes. Soudain, deux larges dos noirs apparaissent.…

|Observation of the Week 20/6/2019

Tiny Fish Fall Prey to Teeth and Baleen

Nearshore reports of “large whales” picked up in intensity this week. In Godbout, in Quebec’s Côte-Nord region, humpback whales venture…

|Observation of the Week 7/6/2019

Return of a Star?

The hastily composed email betrays the excitement of its sender. The observer just photographed a fin whale with a particularly…

|Observation of the Week 27/5/2019
Un petit rorqual a la moitié du corps sorti de l'eau.

Minke Whales Everywhere

From the Gaspé to the Côte-Nord, minke whales have been appearing in the waves in recent days. In the St.…

|Observation of the Week 8/5/2019

New Species for the Season

In Sept-Îles, in Quebec’s Côte-Nord region, a long-time observer sets sails on a friend's boat for the first time this season.…

|Observation of the Week 25/4/2019

Grab your binoculars and let’s go!

Tuque, mittens, binoculars, one field guide for birds and another for whales: a couple is gearing up for a road…

|Observation of the Week 18/4/2019

Return of the Belugas

March 24: “They’re back!” says our collaborator Renaud Pintiaux. From a coastal road in Port-au-Saumon, not far from Saint-Siméon, he…

|Observation of the Week 27/3/2019

“First of the Year”

“My first whale for 2019!” exclaims a whale-watching outfitter in the Gaspé Peninsula. His first observation was made through his…

|Observation of the Week 27/3/2019

Space to breath

On March 6, while walking on the beach near the Cap-des-Rosiers lighthouse, an observer noted the presence of harbour seals…

|Observation of the Week 15/3/2019

More Blue Whales!

The mild weather in the early part of the week offered comfortable conditions for venturing outside and contemplating the river.…

|Observation of the Week 7/3/2019

Marine mammals on the ice and humpbacks in the Caribbean

Off the Gaspé Peninsula town of Newport, 50 or so seals bask on the ice. To observe them, it’s best to…

|Observation of the Week 21/2/2019

Godbout is where the action is!

A tiny village of just over 300 inhabitants, Godbout is located in the Côte-Nord (North Shore) region between Baie-Comeau and…

|Observation of the Week 15/2/2019

February Blues

It was a perfect day for whale-watching. Light winds, calm sea, light conditions that were neither blinding nor too dim.…

|Observation of the Week 8/2/2019

Pinnipeds Galore!

A herd of harp seals is enjoying a break in the ice cover off the docks in Les Escoumins. The…

|Observation of the Week 1/2/2019

Like a tornado of snow

The list of observations this week reads more like a weather report: sea smoke, ice floes, gusts, snow squalls, howling…

|Observation of the Week 24/1/2019

A Rare Blue Whale

January 12: After weeks of seeing nothing but drifting ice and seals on the move, a large spout draws the…

|Observation of the Week 17/1/2019

A New Year of Observations Begins

As 2018 was winding down, one observer in Bonaventure in the Gaspé Peninsula observes three tall puffs, all appearing at…

|Observation of the Week 10/1/2019

A Few Final Breaths to Say Goodbye

Cap-d’Espoir, December 15. The black backs of two humpback whales emerge from the dark water. Their rounded spouts and the…

|Observation of the Week 20/12/2018

Balloon-shaped spouts

December 8: Gaspé Bay is glowing in the sun. A balloon-shaped spout erupts from the water surface, followed by a…

|Observation of the Week 13/12/2018

Whales and Seals Amid the Ice Floes

"They're breaching!" exclaims an innkeeper from Forillon, in the Gaspé Peninsula. It's December 3 and the week is off to…

|Observation of the Week 6/12/2018

When The Waves Calm Down

The extreme weather of the past few days has not been very conducive to marine observations. In addition to repeated…

|Observation of the Week 29/11/2018

Three Big Blues

“Three big blues!” exclaims an observer. He observes the three majestic animals Sunday morning 3 or 4 nautical miles south…

|Observation of the Week 22/11/2018

A Sperm Whale, Again!

We all have our favourite species, including our favourite whales. For our collaborator Renaud Pintiaux, “The sperm whale is a…

|Observation of the Week 31/10/2018

Fewer Eyes on the Water, but Whales Remain

“Can killer whales be seen in Gaspé Bay?” asks a kayaker out at sea with a group near Grande-Grave, off…

|Observation of the Week 25/10/2018

Beluga Bonanza

Yesterday a visitor at the Marine Mammal Interpretation Centre (CIMM) saw several belugas across the Saguenay Fjord through light flurries.…

|Observation of the Week 18/10/2018

Red Foliage and Colourful Backs

The cruise ship Narval III of the whale-watching company Croisières Baie de Gaspé docked for the last time on October 11, and…

|Observation of the Week 12/10/2018

Chills and Thrills : Autumn Sightings

On the wharf used by the Mingan Island Cetacean Study (MICS) in Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan, a thin coat of frost glistens. “Time to migrate south!”…

|Observation of the Week 9/10/2018

A Forest of Spouts

On September 23, no sooner does the cruise begin when the captain yells out “Breach!” Off Les Bergeronnes, the 15-metre long…

|Observation of the Week 26/9/2018

Full breach!

Thirty-three! Thirty-three times, a minke whales breached before a dumbstruck observer standing on the pink granite of Pointe Rouge overlooking Tadoussac…

|Observation of the Week 20/9/2018

Whale- “Listening”

With a hesitation in her step, she walks down the ramp to the boat launch in the Tadoussac marina, where a Zodiac…

|Observation of the Week 18/9/2018

September Blues

Just before students head back to school and knitting season returns, the long Labour Day weekend has allowed thousands of…

|Observation of the Week 7/9/2018

Gannets Galore!

With her tuque snug over her ears, one observer marvels at three gannets as they dive in unison off the…

|Observation of the Week 29/8/2018

Sperm Whale in Sight!

"It's been a dream season," says a captain/naturalist as he shares a video of a sperm whale he shot off…

|Observation of the Week 23/8/2018

Great Week for Observations

“In 51 years of watching whales, I’ve never seen that!” At the end of the line, the voice of our…

|Observation of the Week 16/8/2018

A head, a Tail, a Body Out of the Water!

July 31: A pointed snout pierces the surface and rises like a skyscraper out of the waters off Les Bergeronnes.…

|Observation of the Week 9/8/2018

Little Bundles of Life

They're about one-third the size of an adult and still stick close to their mothers' sides. Calves of several species…

|Observation of the Week 2/8/2018

Navigating through the Fog

Our observer from Franquelin notes the presence of four minke whales and four porpoises on July 21. A little farther…

|Observation of the Week 26/7/2018

Identifying Humpbacks X and Zip

July 7: Having made the trek from Newcastle, England to watch whales, an observer sets up post on the rocks…

|Observation of the Week 12/7/2018

Where There Is Prey, There Are Whales!

"Unbelievable! It's hot even out on the water," exclaims a GREMM volunteer research assistant participating in the photo-ID program for…

|Observation of the Week 5/7/2018

We Wouldn’t Want to Be a Capelin…

Does this photo show five whales or six? Their gaping mouths are about to clamp down on masses of quivering…

|Observation of the Week 28/6/2018

Gaspésie Invaded by “Jubartes” or “Megaptera”

No doubt about it, everyone who has been plying the offshore waters of the Gaspé region lately has one word…

|Observation of the Week 19/6/2018

Blue Whale Newcomers and Familiar Humpbacks

The Mingan Island Cetacean Study (MICS) team, based in Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan, is geared up for its 40th season on the water!…

|Observation of the Week 13/6/2018

Irisept, a White Tail and Other Humpback Whale Stories

"For a number of people, the weather these past few days has been the motivating factor to get out and…

|Observation of the Week 5/6/2018

Silvery Capelin Sought by Hungry Giants

Prével (Gaspésie), Sept-Îles, Portneuf-sur-Mer (Côte-Nord): "Waves of silver" say some local residents when talking about a particular time of the…

|Observation of the Week 31/5/2018

“Suspect” Identified

Is it possible to identify an all-white beluga? Certainly, especially when it shows a major spinal deformity like Pascolio! This…

|Observation of the Week 18/5/2018

Recognizing Whales by their Backs

May 6: no sooner had the sun risen when one observer spotted two belugas in the morning light off La…

|Observation of the Week 10/5/2018

White Dots at Sea and Exquisite Darts in the Skies

From the distant white dots identified every morning at the mouth of the Saguenay to the close-up views of animals…

|Observation of the Week 26/4/2018

Seals by the hundreds, seabird numbers on the rise and belugas between island and mountains

Our collaborator from Pointe-des-Monts confirms: "no whales in sight, but there were "sea wolves" by the ton!" speaking of his…

|Observation of the Week 19/4/2018

Silhouettes of All Colours

April 11: Young grays and white adults are scattered around the mouth of the Saguenay Fjord. "At last," sighs one…

|Observation of the Week 12/4/2018

It’s snowing on the whales!

The most recent snowfalls this past week give the impression that winter will never end and that spring is reluctant…

|Observation of the Week 4/4/2018

First Spring Visitors

Sunny skies and rising temperatures are bringing joy and marking the return of the whales! On March 23, in the…

|Observation of the Week 29/3/2018

A New Fur Coat Every Year

This week's observations revolve around seals! In Franquelin and Tadoussac, just one harp seal and one gray seal are seen,…

|Observation of the Week 21/3/2018

Are seals “chatterboxes”?

Before tackling this question, here are a few tidbits regarding our St. Lawrence whales. Between 30 and 50 belugas were…

|Observation of the Week 9/3/2018

Amphibious Mammals along the North Shore

The lives of seals are split between the sea and the land. Excellent swimmers, they hunt their prey under water…

|Observation of the Week 18/1/2018

White Spouts in a White Landscape

On the afternoon of January 8, an observer is driving down the "Whale Route" toward Sept-Îles. Upon her arrival at…

|Observation of the Week 11/1/2018

Noteworthy Stories Awaiting Next Year’s Narratives

The year 2017 is winding down. What were the major headlines from this year's News from Afield? [caption id="attachment_30002" align="alignright"…

|Observation of the Week 21/12/2017

Rediscover a summer holiday spot in a frozen but still inhabited setting

After long hours spent this past summer scanning the open sea for whales and pointing them out to visitors, an…

|Observation of the Week 13/12/2017

Tips and Tricks for Recognizing Species

"On December 3, I spotted two whales off Sainte-Thérèse-de-Gaspé," writes in one observer, delighted to be seeing whales in December.…

|Observation of the Week 6/12/2017

Patience, they’re still around

The week goes by and with each passing day we receive more sightings from our network of collaborators throughout Quebec.…

|Observation of the Week 1/12/2017

Were whales affected by those squalls that pummelled the North Shore?

On November 17, gusts of up to 90 km/h whipped across the shores of the Côte-Nord region. The raging, whitecap-speckled St.…

|Observation of the Week 22/11/2017

Migrants Prolonging their Season

At first glance, the St. Lawrence in November appears to be devoid of life. Apart from merchant ships and ferries,…

|Observation of the Week 16/11/2017

When Birds Take Advantage of Whales to Feed

An impressive scar forms zebra-like stripes on the right flank of one of the three fin whales seen off Tadoussac…

|Observation of the Week 8/11/2017

Minke Whales, from the Arctic to the St. Lawrence to the Tropic of Cancer

This past week, it has been mostly minke whales that have been observed. About fifteen of them have been at…

|Observation of the Week 1/11/2017

Little Hitchhikers on Big Travellers and a Horde of Dolphins

Large golden-brown spots can be seen when a fin whale appears – for example, one of the eight individuals observed…

|Observation of the Week 24/10/2017

The Porpoise that Thought It Was a Beluga

On October 13, in the heart of the Marine Park, a harbour porpoise surprises observers with its whitish colour recalling…

|Observation of the Week 18/10/2017

Whale Season Draws to a Close

Parks Canada's land-based observation sites adjacent to the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park are closing down for the season; meanwhile, the…

|Observation of the Week 13/10/2017

Etched in Our Memories

"Extraordinary," exclaims a Franquelin-based collaborator while watching in awe as a minke whale leaps into the air. It repeats the…

|Observation of the Week 4/10/2017

Big Loafers and Sea Torpedoes

Almost nonchalantly, a basking shark glides by the boat of a resident of Sainte-Thérèse-de-Gaspé. Its high dorsal fin betrays the…

|Observation of the Week 27/9/2017

Up Close or From Afar

Early in the morning of September 17, under an overcast sky and in glassy seas, two observers from Sainte-Anne-des-Monts are…

|Observation of the Week 21/9/2017

Movement of Prey Conditions that of Whales

By Sonia Villalon A text from Sonia Villalon Every species has its preferences in terms of prey and this week's…

|Observation of the Week 13/9/2017

Movement in the St. Lawrence

This seems to be the best way to describe the whale season to date. [caption id="attachment_27257" align="alignright" width="250"] Tingley and…

|Observation of the Week 6/9/2017

In Groups or Alone?

"Harbour porpoises are everywhere, every day," reports a collaborator from Franquelin. These cetaceans, which measure 1 to 2 m long, are…

|Observation of the Week 30/8/2017

Observing a Heavyweight Breastfeeding and Other Surprises

A whale-watching boat in the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park encounters the fin whale Caïman and her young on August 16.…

|Observation of the Week 23/8/2017

Narwhal Still Amongst St. Lawrence Belugas

At a time when identity and immigration issues are tormenting Quebec and the rest of the planet, a fresh wind…

|Observation of the Week 21/8/2017

Detective for a day

Whales reveal just a tiny fraction of their bodies before quickly disappearing again, leaving observers puzzled as to who they…

|Observation of the Week 16/8/2017

A Week of Questions and Surprises!

On August 9, the Mingan Island Cetacean Study (MICS) team sets out on the water, taking advantage of a lull.…

|Observation of the Week 11/8/2017

Familiar Whales, Satisfied Observers

"This summer has been a busy one in Sept-Îles!" exclaims a resident observer from Gallix, near Sept-Îles. Since 1989, he…

|Observation of the Week 4/8/2017

Intriguing Observations

"Is it possible to see a killer whale in Saint-Siméon in the Charlevoix region?", asks a camper who notices a…

|Observation of the Week 27/7/2017

Searching for Whales to Research

Photo-identifying the minke whales of the Estuary is one of the objectives of the team at Mériscope, which is based…

|Observation of the Week 21/7/2017

Diversity of Species and Behaviours to Discover

"They come here to eat."... a phrase often repeated by captains and naturalists from the get-go when speaking to the…

|Observation of the Week 13/7/2017

A Breath of Fresh Air in Gaspésie

Good news: five newborn humpback whales have been sighted so far off the Gaspé Peninsula: "a figure that is already…

|Observation of the Week 28/6/2017

Minke Whales and Winter Seals in the Middle of Summer… followed by News from Afield Map!

"Good thing we at least have them!" joke several captains and naturalists from the Tadoussac – Les Escoumins region, referring…

|Observation of the Week 21/6/2017

Individual Identification Possible, but Far from Easy

At the foot of the mountains rising above the Fjord, small groups of harbour seals lie on the rocks. They…

|Observation of the Week 16/6/2017

Summer Frenzy in the Gulf

From a vantage point on Bonaventure Island off the Gaspé Peninsula, a park warden spots two humpback whales on June…

|Observation of the Week 9/6/2017
petit rorqual

The Capelin are Rolling!

They're back! Whether it's in Baie-Comeau on the North Shore, or in Chandler in the Gaspé Peninsula, the capelin are…

|Observation of the Week 1/6/2017

Spouts, prey and migrations: a few stories

Off L'Anse-Saint-Georges in the Gaspé, a tour operator observes two spouts on May 24. The mushroom shape leads him to…

|Observation of the Week 25/5/2017

Strange-looking Dolphins

Dark skin, long pectoral fins, a round head resembling that of a beluga, and a short beak: the pilot whale…

|Observation of the Week 19/5/2017

Large Rorquals and Ducks by the Thousands

Thousands of long-tailed ducks line the waters of the Estuary. Skilled divers, they plunge to depths of up to sixty…

|Observation of the Week 12/5/2017

Tadoussac: The Whales are Back!

For a number of whale cruise operators in the Tadoussac region, the offshore season debuted the last weekend of April.…

|Observation of the Week 8/5/2017

Belugas and Gannets Downriver

A herd of belugas are swimming in tight formation off Pointe-aux-Outardes; they number about 40. Behind them, flocks of birds…

|Observation of the Week 27/4/2017

White, Black, Blue, Gray Animals…

Belugas, blue whales, humpbacks, minke whales, three species of seals ... the variety of marine mammals seen in the past…

|Observation of the Week 19/4/2017

“My first whales of the season!”

These same words were on the lips of a number of observers! Here they are, back in the St. Lawrence…

|Observation of the Week 11/4/2017

Three Baritone Rorquals

One, two… three spouts appear and remain suspended on the horizon for a few seconds. They're about four kilometres offshore.…

|Observation of the Week 7/4/2017

Fresh crab at the counters: a telltale sign

The snow crab season is underway, which is synonymous with the start of the "crab dinner" season. For some, this is…

|Observation of the Week 30/3/2017

A Breath of Spring

March 20 marked the spring equinox, when day and night are of equal duration, and will end with the summer…

|Observation of the Week 23/3/2017

Observation Round-up, from the Estuary to the Gulf

Winter is a relatively calm period for marine mammal enthusiasts. Nevertheless, many observers stare out to sea, constantly on the…

|Observation of the Week 17/3/2017

Whitecaps and Blue Mountain at the Water Surface

February 28: from his "lookout" – i.e. the porch of his house – a member of the Marine Mammal Interpretation…

|Observation of the Week 9/3/2017

Visiting Blue Whale in Godbout

On February 23, off the village of Godbout, a large rorqual approaches the coast. Its long back glides across the…

|Observation of the Week 2/3/2017

Copious Meal for Two Blue Whales

Their gaping mouth expands like an accordion thanks to the skin folds of the throat and belly, while their baleen…

|Observation of the Week 23/2/2017

A Mysterious Tail

On February 4, a resident in the Godbout region on the North Shore captures on film the tail of a…

|Observation of the Week 16/2/2017

“Surfing” amidst the Pack Ice

Surprisingly, there are a handful of enthusiasts who continue to practise this sport even in the middle of winter in…

|Observation of the Week 12/2/2017

Driving over 500 km to See Belugas

"Beluga-watching in winter!" exclaims a Whales Online subscriber after reading the Field Notes Still Plenty of Belugas on the Upper…

|Observation of the Week 9/2/2017

Return of Whales to Côte-Nord

Measuring 15 to 20 metres long and weighing in at 35 to 100 tonnes, large rorquals swim beneath the water…

|Observation of the Week 3/2/2017

Tips for Surviving the Cold in Quebec

January 18: hundreds of Barrow's goldeneye take wing amidst the ice floes off Cap de Bon-Desir. They're not alone. The…

|Observation of the Week 26/1/2017

Four-legged Underwater Hunters

Harp seals by the hundreds on the ice at Sainte-Flavie and Pointe-au-Père, groups of harp seals off Les Escoumins, gray…

|Observation of the Week 17/1/2017

Black Bubbling at the Water Surface

Actually, it's harp seals moving around energetically in the water. Solo, in pairs, by the handful or by the dozen,…

|Observation of the Week 16/12/2016

Observations at Sea and on Land, during the Day and at Night

It is always surprising to encounter whales that are believed to have left for the Atlantic as soon as autumn…

|Observation of the Week 9/12/2016

Marine Mammal Diversity at the Dawn of Winter

As the first snow falls on the St. Lawrence, some whales continue to behave as if summer has never ended.…

|Observation of the Week 1/12/2016

Whales Slow to Migrate

"The whales are on a reproduction strike", jokes a News from Afield collaborator following her observation of two humpback whales…

|Observation of the Week 16/11/2016

Autumn Abundance

The fall harvest has been bountiful" writes in a St. Lawrence regular, visibly excited following all the large rorquals he…

|Observation of the Week 2/11/2016

Small Whales in Big Numbers!

By Olivia Capeillere Since the beginning of fall, large rorquals have been everywhere along the St. Lawrence Estuary, but this…

|Observation of the Week 20/10/2016

Ending the Season with a Bang

It's getting colder offshore; the season is drawing to a close. Nevertheless, Thanksgiving weekend was wonderful, with regard to both…

|Observation of the Week 16/10/2016

Birds and humpbacks galore!

By Olivia Capeillere As we enter into early fall, observers everywhere along the St. Lawrence Estuary and Gulf have been…

|Observation of the Week 8/10/2016

Pleasant Surprises at Season’s End

By Olivia Capeillere Autumn has truly arrived. Offshore, chilly temps are on the menu and so are the whales! Blue…

|Observation of the Week 29/9/2016

Fish, Seals, Birds, Whales and Company!

What diversity in the St. Lawrence! Observers have an extremely diverse list of species to report these past few days,…

|Observation of the Week 7/9/2016

Return of the Big Blue

It is said that the St. Lawrence is one of the best places in the world to observe blue whales,…

|Observation of the Week 31/8/2016

“Unprecedented!”

It seems that late August is bringing its fair share of unique moments to observers on the St. Lawrence. In…

|Observation of the Week 24/8/2016

Fins to the Sky

When whales surface, they show only one twentieth of their body. One should therefore expect to see just their back…

|Observation of the Week 18/8/2016

Diversity and Amazement in the St. Lawrence

The past few days have been emotionally rich for observers along the St. Lawrence. First, the presence of a narwhal…

|Observation of the Week 11/8/2016

Narwhal on the Run – Updated August 10, 2016

On July 29, the GREMM team observed a narwhal in a group of belugas off the coast of Trois-Pistoles. A…

|Observation of the Week 10/8/2016
pectorale bosse

Surprising Observations

The stories coming in this week from our News from Afield observers are exciting; not only is the diversity impressive,…

|Observation of the Week 28/7/2016

It’s All a Matter of Food!

It's a well known fact: the St. Lawrence is a vast, open-air buffet for cetaceans. The abundance of prey is…

|Observation of the Week 16/7/2016

Right Whales in the Waters of the Gulf

Week after week, the same pattern has been emerging throughout the St. Lawrence. Rorquals are very much present, sometimes observed…

|Observation of the Week 8/7/2016

Humpbacks in the Spotlight

In recent days the waters of the St. Lawrence have been host to a variety of marine mammals, but humpback…

|Observation of the Week 2/7/2016

Observations by the Ton

Observers at sea and on land are excited, and for good reason! The St. Lawrence River is teeming with life,…

|Observation of the Week 21/6/2016

The St. Lawrence as a Performance Stage

Minke whales are now a rather common sight in the St. Lawrence, sometimes alone, sometimes a half dozen or more…

|Observation of the Week 15/6/2016

Greyhounds of the Sea Making a Splash

The weather this week has not been conducive to observations in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence. The weather…

|Observation of the Week 8/6/2016

Whales are Back

Emotions are running high as a new season gets under way. Cruises in the Gaspé Bay region began operating on…

|Observation of the Week 2/6/2016

A Week Full of Emotions!

Pairs of harbour porpoises in Franquelin, four fin whales off of Tadoussac, a large rorqual in Baie-des-Sables in the Gaspé…

|Observation of the Week 27/5/2016

Signs of Life, from Charlevoix to the Gaspé

Great news for those eagerly awaiting the return of whales in the St. Lawrence: cruise operators, land-based observers and researchers…

|Observation of the Week 20/5/2016

Between Sky and Sea

In recent days, observers have been as captivated by life at sea as in the air! Great whales do not…

|Observation of the Week 13/5/2016

When “family friends” come to see us

As migratory species, whales take advantage of the rich St. Lawrence waters in the summer to feed. Every summer, they enter…

|Observation of the Week 6/5/2016

Large Rorquals Here and There

After an abundance of reportings last week, observers have become quieter of late! Exceptions include a cruise in the Gaspé…

|Observation of the Week 29/4/2016

Influx of Good News

For the first time in several months, a considerable number of News from Afield observers have observations to report. First,…

|Observation of the Week 21/4/2016

Concert of Sea Canaries

Observations of small groups of belugas have been reported here and there since the beginning of March, but this week,…

|Observation of the Week 13/4/2016

“Here We Go Again!”

We had been waiting for this announcement for some time, namely the first irrefutable signs of spring. On the morning…

|Observation of the Week 8/4/2016

“Hunting and Fishing” Season

"The view is endless!" reports one observer in the Gaspé region, already getting the whale-watching boats ready for the upcoming…

|Observation of the Week 31/3/2016

First Whales Observed in the Estuary

It was with contagious enthusiasm that a boat captain from Les Escoumins phoned the Whales Online team: "I could have…

|Observation of the Week 17/3/2016

Relentless Passion… Even in Winter!

Though ice is increasingly present in the St. Lawrence and Gaspé Bay is partially frozen, other sectors remain ice-free, making…

|Observation of the Week 3/3/2016

Observations Reduced to a Trickle

Don't be surprised: February is a quiet period in terms of the presence of whales in the St. Lawrence. Nevertheless,…

|Observation of the Week 26/2/2016

Noisy Seals and Low-Profile Whales

"We could hear their bellowing from our porch," says a Franquelin-based collaborator of News from Afield, referring to the cries…

|Observation of the Week 10/2/2016

Harp Seals Attracting Attention

They appear in the form of black bubbles at the water surface. Adult harp seals give the impression of wearing…

|Observation of the Week 22/1/2016

A Little Spy to Track a Large Cetacean

Update – January 20, 2016: Return to Northern Waters and Media Coverage of the Project! According to the most recent…

|Observation of the Week 20/1/2016

Braving the Cold

L'Anse-Saint-Jean, Saguenay Fjord, with the wind chill it feels like -28°C… This temperature won't prevent ice fishing enthusiasts from kicking…

|Observation of the Week 15/1/2016

Flashback…

..to late November. Our collaborator in Franquelin sees her first harp seal of the winter. In the following weeks, she…

|Observation of the Week 10/12/2015

A Rewarding Stroll

On the afternoon of November 18, a News from Afield collaborator and Gaspé Bay whale-watching employee in summers ends his…

|Observation of the Week 24/11/2015

Building Energy Reserves

Fin whales in the Gaspé and Côte-Nord regions, minke whales and harbour porpoises off Charlevoix and the Côte-Nord, belugas at…

|Observation of the Week 12/11/2015

Fin Whales in Sight

One might think that at the end of October, the St. Lawrence Estuary is deserted... well think again! Autumn sea…

|Observation of the Week 29/10/2015

Ending the Season with a Bang

These are the last trips out to sea for tour operators of Gaspé Bay, and the whales are plentiful! On…

|Observation of the Week 13/10/2015

A Puff of Air that Betrays its Presence, but not its Species

A large column rises high into the air. "Fin whale or blue whale?" asks our Franquelin-based collaborator on the morning…

|Observation of the Week 6/10/2015

Observation Season Still Going Strong in the Gaspé…

One would think it's still summer with all the sightings reported from our collaborators in the Gaspé. Between the villages…

|Observation of the Week 28/9/2015

“More whales than visitors”…

...emphasizes a Percé-based captain, referring to this recent week of observations. Île Bonaventure is surrounded by numerous marine mammals: hundreds…

|Observation of the Week 21/9/2015

No Two Weeks or Observations are Alike…

A dynamic environment It is a well known fact that whales come to the St. Lawrence to feed. Forget the…

|Observation of the Week 7/9/2015

Focus on the Gulf

Starting with the Cloridorme region in the Gaspé where "almost 40 blue whales are present," according to Richard Sears, director…

|Observation of the Week 31/8/2015

Who are these gannets that are hunting among the whales?

These large seabirds, the largest in the North Atlantic with wingspans of up to two metres, owe their scientific name…

|Observation of the Week 28/8/2015

Observers Delighted…

To observe almost a hundred belugas in Les Escoumins; nearly a dozen blue whales in the Gaspé, including B105, which…

|Observation of the Week 17/8/2015

“Sea Wolves” of the St. Lawrence

In French, seals are sometimes referred to by the old term "loups marins", or sea wolves, which in some regions…

|Observation of the Week 14/8/2015

Pair of Blue Giants

Researcher Anik Boileau, director of the Centre d’Éducation et de Recherche de Sept-îles (CERSI), based in Sept-Îles, observed a pair…

|Observation of the Week 11/8/2015

Right Whales Seen from the Sky

During an aerial survey on August 7, a team from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) spots over twenty…

|Observation of the Week 11/8/2015

Looking for whales with our ears

At Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan, some thirty fin whales are present, both "known" faces and newcomers. Are they easy to spot? More or…

|Observation of the Week 31/7/2015

Large Gatherings

Large herds of gray seals off Tadoussac are attracting increasing attention. Even if only their heads stick out above the…

|Observation of the Week 23/7/2015

A Whiskery Creature in La Baie

July 20, 2015: Long whiskers appear on the water surface; a bearded seal startles a photographer at the marina in…

|Observation of the Week 22/7/2015

Renewed Activity

"Might things be picking up in the region?" enquires one of the Mingan Island Cetacean Study (MICS) team members after…

|Observation of the Week 17/7/2015

North Atlantic Right Whale Observed near Île Rouge

On the afternoon of Friday, July 10, the GREMM team aboard the Bleuvet, while tracking belugas offshore, had a surprising…

|Observation of the Week 10/7/2015

Four Killer Whales in the Lower North Shore, One Possibly Identified

Photos taken between La Tabatière and Gros-Mécatina in the Basse-Côte-Nord region (in the Gulf of St. Lawrence near Newfoundland) confirm…

|Observation of the Week 10/7/2015

Familiar Faces in Gaspésie

A black "iris" shape on the right lobe and a white "seven" in the centre of the tail; cat eyes…

|Observation of the Week 9/7/2015

Survivor of the Estuary

The last time "Le Survivant" was seen was on November 23, 2014, off the coast of Cap de Bon-Désir in…

|Observation of the Week 4/5/2015

Of Whales, the Moon and Men

The "fishermen" positioned nearly 3500 saplings in four days, though they purposely neglected to "set the trap" by making sure…

|Observation of the Week 22/4/2015

Belugas Return to the Estuary

"Almost in real time", emphasizes Robert Michaud as he calls the Whales On Line team on April 8. Indeed, barely…

|Observation of the Week 9/4/2015