May 20, 2013

Humpback whales cruisin' around

Great day on the water! After searching around for a bit, Captain Mike, Naturalist Andrew, and myself, caught a lucky break when we found 2 humpbacks over Eastern bank. These two seemed to be keeping close the the contours of the bank. This behavior could reflect their feeding strategies. Commonly, humpbacks will forage over continental shelves and sea mounts where productivity of krill is highest. Once the krill is spotted, Humpbacks have a really cool and unusual technique to catch their prey. Humpbacks commonly use "bubble nets" to corral krill and small fish. They produce a net of bubbles in a continuous circle towards the surface. Once this technique has successfully created a "bait ball" or tight knit group of prey. The Humpbacks will then swim up through the net, with mouths agape, and swallow thousands of fish in one gulp!
We did not see any bubble netting this time, but it was still an awesome day on the water to see the not so common humpbacks cruisin' around. Looking forward to seeing some more soon.

Caitlin
Naturalist
San Juan Safaris