Seals by Air

Most of our research is accomplished by snowmobile every day, but occasionally, we have the opportunity to work from the sky.  This video was captured during two helicopter flights, one to find any seals hidden behind ice pressure ridges or large ice masses that we missed in our first tagging efforts, and another to find any tagged seals outside of our study area (at Tera Nova Bay) to assess the amount of emigration out of the study population.  The resulting video is nothing special, in fact, it is very poorly done, as I am just learning the ropes of video editing (using Adobe Premiere Elements 9) and don't have a lot of time on my hands (apparently, editing video can take a very, very long time, at least in my case!).  I provide no distinction during the video between the two flights, but first half is in an A-Star helicopter and the second half is in a Bell helicopter.

The tiny black dots on the edges of the islands and cracks are seals!!

To make the video BIGGER, click on it AGAIN after it has started playing.


  1. Great video! Did you really count all of those seals? It looked like there were hundreds down there. Were you just looking for pockets of seals not counted versus individuals that may have been missed?

  2. Thought you did a really great job with this too! Love seeing your co-workers and your work environment as much as the natural one. Very pretty helicopter. Your boxes on the ice look like a real frontier outpost. Thanks for the tour!

  3. You did a great job on this video! You gave us a real feel for being right there along side you looking out the windows! There sure were lots of seals down there!

  4. Rob--Yeah, there are hundreds, and that's not all of them. Last few surveys have been around 1100 and 1200 seals in our study area.
    We are more interested in any pockets of seals that we missed during tagging days and surveys, less so in individual seals, but if they are easy access, we would go check them out.

  5. Now that you're chopper experienced, how about getting your pilot's license? I'm thinking of all the places we could go.....

  6. Dear Jesse!
    Merry Christmas!!
    I need to share an afternoon with you from the school nurse office this week. There was a very smart 2nd gr. boy who had a miserable cold and we had to wait awhile for his mom to arrive. There was a 1st gr. girl who had a cut on her face which needed stitches earlier in the week and it still hurt. And a 3rd gr. girl who just hasn't been doing well with friends at recess. And me.
    I put up your blog page and we started looking at your photos and talking about Antarctica and ice fields. Then we watched the seal videos. You would have liked to hear them cheering on the reluctant pup trying not to swim! We all had a marvelous time!
    Thank you!

  7. Mary,
    Merry Christmas to you too! Thank you!
    Wonderful to hear that my videos are giving smiles to the kids! And that they are relieving/distracting the kids from their cuts and pains!



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