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The Symbiotic Relationship Between Humpback Whales and Marine Birds

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November 12, 2018

7:15 pm - 9:15 pm

Immanuel Lutheran Church

with Peter Trull

Symbiotic relationships occur throughout Nature, some subtle, others compelling! In the open sea, Humpback Whales create bubble columns and bubble clouds that trap and drive small fish to the surface, providing an opportunity for a diversity of marine birds to share in the bounty. Symbiosis occurs in three forms, Mutualism, Commensalism and Parasitism. In “The Symbiotic Relationship Between Humpback Whales and Marine Birds”, we’ll see through vivid images how one form, commensalism, occurs in a dynamic display of power and beauty. Learn about the behaviors and adaptations of birds, most notably the gulls, shearwaters and petrels found in our coastal waters, as they coexist with Humpback Whales. A diversity of marine birds and marine mammal species will be shown and described in close-up images.

Peter Trull has been involved in field research and education on Cape Cod for over 40 years. In the 70s and 80s he coordinated Massachusetts Audubon Society’s coastal seabird monitoring program, assessing the breeding success and its limiting factors on 4 species of terns as well as piping plovers. He conducted field research in Guyana and Surinam, studying the market trapping of Common Terns and Roseate Terns, working with local bird trappers in several coastal villages where he hesitatingly admits he’s eaten Common Terns and 15 to 20 species of sandpipers and plovers. As Education Director at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, he developed programs and began studying Eastern Coyotes in 1989. Through the 90’s, as a researcher and Education Director at the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies, he developed and taught classes related to whales and marine birds and has completed over 2300 whale watching trips related to education and research. He recently retired as a 7th grade Science teacher at the Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School in Harwich MA, and holds a Master’s Degree in Education. He has written seven books about Cape Cod natural history. His newest book The Life of Terns, Birds of Paradox is due out in spring of 2019. Peter lives in Brewster on Cape Cod.

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