Planning your vacation for Labor Day weekend? These guys are way ahead of you. In Canada, beluga whales are already frolicking in the sun in their favorite vacation destination. Here's the best part: You can watch them live online.
So why do over 50,000 beluga whales choose this of all places to spend their late summers? Pierre Richard, a 30-year veteran of studying belugas and narwhals, hypothesizes they swim to northern Manitoba to not only molt their skin, but also flee from their predators, like killer whales.
Luckily for you, the viewer, beluga whales aren't shy. Like small children that want to touch everything, belugas often rub up against smaller boats -- like the boat with explore.org's camera -- to satiate their curiosity. And keep an eye out for different sizes and shapes of the whales. The biggest and whitest among them are full-grown males, while brown or yellow whales are likely baby belugas. Slate grey whales you may see are likely adolescents. Unfortunately, you're unlikely to see a female beluga on camera, Richard said in an interview with explore.org. They are often more shy and stay away from boats in order to protect their young.
"Between group dynamics and communication techniques, there’s a lot average people can learn about these animals just from watching them interact with each other," Richard says. "That’s what makes this camera such a great tool."
You can watch the streams live, starting at any time between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. CST each day. Check them out below.
Beluga Boat Cam - On Deck:
Beluga Boat Cam - Underwater:
And check out these snapshots of belugas captured by explore.org's users: