2011 03 14- Dr Jooke Robbins identifies Alphorn NAHWC# 0362 from the propeller scar on its back Print
Written by Andrew Stevenson   


Camilla Stringer photographed this whale with a severe propeller scar on its back and along its side. This is a Gulf of Maine whale and has been identified by Dr Jooke Robbins at the Centre for Coastal Studies as Alphorn also known as NAHWC#0362 in the Allied Whale Catalogue. This is a whale that makes regular visits to Stellwegen Bank and was first photo ID'ed in 1983! That's a 28-year sighting history. Alphorn is the 1983 calf of Rune. For another photo showing the propeller scars see below. More info on its complete sighting history below.




Leah Crowe at Allied Whale, College of the Atlantic tells us that Alphorn is actually a male. Born in 1983 to a whale named "Rune" (and Rune actually had a calf last year-2010, so Alphorn has many siblings). He had a collision with a boat at some point in his life - not sure when that happened. He is named for the black mark jutting from the core on the left side that looks like an alphorn (an instrument they play in the Alps) as shown on his fluke shown above.

Below is a photo I took of Alphorn the next day, Tuesday 15th of March on the Bermuda platform where it appeared to be feeding with another whale.


From Allied Whale's database his sighting history is as follows:

1983 and 1984 - seen in the GOM and on Stellwagen

1986 - off Chatham, MA

1987 - Great South Channel

1988, 89, 90 - Stellwagen

1990 - Great South Channel

1991 - Stellwagen

1993 - Silver Bank
2002 - GSC

2006, 07 - Stellwagen

2007 - Jeffreys Ledge

2008 - Stellwagen