Rare overhead footage reveals gray whales in the act of mating


Gray whales make love off Southern California, while being spied on via drone.

Gray whales were videotaped mating last week off Southern California, graphically illustrating that migrating cetaceans enjoy less privacy than ever in this era of camera-fitted drones.

The rare aerial footage — one of three videos produced during a marathon display off the Palos Verdes Peninsula in Los Angeles County — was captured by Liam Greenspoon, whose YouTube moniker is Drone Dronester.

The courtship was also witnessed by volunteers with the ACS-LA Gray Whale Census and Behavior Project at the Point Vicente Interpretive Center.

Said project director Alisa Schulman-Janiger: “We do see this sometimes, but not all that often, and for someone to catch it with a drone and show off a view like this is very unique. That's what's so cool about it.”

To be sure, the increasing use of drone photography, while it is controversial, allows unique perspectives of whale behavior. The cetaceans in the video — part of a southbound migration involving about 21,000 gray whales — are a large male and a much smaller female.

Schulman-Janiger posted this Facebook introduction above the accompanying clip:

“Terrific extended video of a very large adult male [displaying his “Pink Floyd” during most of this seven-plus minute footage] and a much smaller [presumed] female who were exhibiting courting behavior. Taken by the “Drone Dronester” just off our census post at the Pt. Vicente Interpretive Center.”

Reads one of the comments: “Great footage, but could someone add a sound track and play Marvin Gaye's, 'Let’s Get it On' ?”

As for the reference to Pink Floyd, we'll leave it to parents to explain it to their children.

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