Trap Feeding in the Sunshine!

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Trap feeding! Ripple the Humpback Whale with her mouth wide open.

Mature Bald Eagle perched atop a tree.

Argonaut the Humpback Whale seen again in Weynton Pass.

Snow capped mountains and wonderful sunshine.

Conger the Humpback Whale preparing for a dive.

Pacific Harbour Seals warming in the sunshine.

Today’s Sightings: Humpback Whales (Argonaut, Ripple, Conger & Ojos Blancos), Dall’s Porpoises, Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Pacific Harbour Seals, Steller Sea Lion, Pigeon Guillemots and Rhinoceros Auklets.

The sun shone for the first time in a while on this afternoon’s trip and it felt a lot more like summer. We spotted a Humpback Whale, and were thrilled when we recognized it as Argonaut, the most frequently sighted Humpback Whale on our tours. This animal is quite commonly seen right where we spotted it today, in Weynton Pass. Welcome back Argonaut!

Bald Eagles were feeding in a bait ball again this afternoon, but Conger the Humpback Whale was also being mobbed by a group of Pacific White-Sided Dolphins! What were we to do? Conger breached and the choice was made as we went over to get a better look at the Humpback Whale and the dolphins that were jumping all over Conger’s head and body. The eagles continued to feed in the distance.

Two more Humpback Whales blew in the distance, followed by great excitement as we realized one of them was trap feeding! Ripple the Humpback Whale lay still at the surface with her mouth wide open. This is the first time we have seen trap feeding this year. It is a new feeding technique being documented by our friends at the Marine Education and Research Society (MERS). You can read more about this amazing and unique feeding behaviour on their blog found here: https://mersociety.wordpress.com/2017/06/17/trap-feeding-a-new-humpback-feeding-behaviour/

It was another incredible day on the water.

Photo credits: Ashley Nielsen, Alison Ogilvie and Jennie Leaver. All images taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

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