Victoria Whale Watching Report: Humpback Whales MMZ0041 “Pong” and BCX1251 “Orion”!
October 17, 2019
For our chartered tour today we headed south in search of wildlife. Not long into our journey, we spotted the tall exhales of a couple of humpbacks.
These baleen whales are traveling thousands of kilometers to reach this area to feed. They are a migratory animal as they spend their year in two places, down south during the winter for mating and calving, and north towards Vancouver Island and Alaska for feeding.
While here they are feeding on small things such as krill, sand lance, and herring. They can not eat anything larger, as their throats are only about the width of a large grapefruit. Instead of chewing their food, they are large filter feeders where the baleen plate in their mouth acts as a spaghetti strainer. While humpbacks are here feeding in the area, from April to November, they will roughly regain 7-17 tons back in body weight. A full-grown female humpback will weigh around 50 tons and 53ft in length.
While watching these large animals we were able to witness lunge feeding!
This technique of feeding is where they lunge out of the water, mouths agape, taking in copious amounts of water and food to filter through. During their lunges, we were able to identify a couple of whales as MMZ0041 Pong and BCX1251 Orion. To identify humpback, all we need is a photo of the bottom of their fluke to take a closer look at the patterns underneath.
We were fortunate to watch these whales enjoy feeding for a while before heading to Race Rocks to view our seals and sea lions before heading home.