Australian Orca Hunt Juvenile Beaked Whale

Australian Orca hunt juvenile Beaked Whale during another incredible day with the Bremer Bay Orca as after a powerful chase they surfaced alongside us with a young Beaked Whale having been captured in the depths below. It was a very nice morning to be heading out to see the Orca as a calm sea and gentle breeze made for an enjoyable trip out to the sighting grounds. Alki and her family pod were observed first as they surfaced a short distance away and just as we were settling in to see what they had been up to this morning it soon became very clear. Surging erupted as they raced quickly and it seemed they had spent the morning tracking prey as they moved with urgency. The pod soon converged and we could see that it was Queen (of course!) who had gathered her troops together alongside Noosa as they began to breathe heavily. The whole family appeared excited but controlled as they circled at the surface for a while, we watched them closely. It was only back on the 3rd of February we had the same situation occur with the family diving deeply in pursuit of a Beaked Whale but that one got away.

It did appear that the family pod had been tracking a Beaked Whale this morning through their body language and behaviour but it was tricky to determine in these early stages if this one had also gotten away. The family approached us and circled the Steep Point as we drifted with them while completely surrounded by Queen’s pod with the anticipation building of what would be the next move by the Orca. Stormy called the next move as she observed Noosa and Wonks rounding out next to us and diving deeply as the entire family followed and all was still and eerily quiet. Suddenly and with a burst of noise and commotion we watched on in amazement as Flapper surfaced from right underneath us on our starboard side with a juvenile Beaked Whale being dragged by the fluke lying along the left side of her body. The poor Beaked Whale was not alive anymore and did not show clear signs of severe injury which indicated internal trauma, drowning/suffocation or both as the culprits for the quick kill. The entire family surfaced excitedly with as Queen and her family were once again successful in their predation of a Beaked Whale.

Feeding followed along with much celebration as the calves breached joyously and we could see them enjoying every moment of this important meal. The Strap-toothed Beaked Whale hunt a couple of days ago was severely interrupted by the Pilot Whales so the family was not able to make much commotion or celebration during that feeding without attracting the Pilot Whales attention who would then come charging in and cause the Orca to have to carry their meal with them and relocate. Today was a different story though as the Orca had the area all to themselves as they shared their meal, spread out and socialised throughout the morning. Once everyone had their fill it was time to continue onwards as the calves played while the elders of the family rested in autopilot mode while swimming slowly. The family managed to get a good rest in before Ambrose sighted a commotion of blows and white water racing towards the Orca as they turned sharply, the Pilot Whales were back!

Today they were too late though as the Orca had already enjoyed their meal and began to move away from the Pilot Whales back up towards The Patch. It was a perfect time to wish the Orca well for their afternoon ahead as we made the most of the opportunity to spend some time with the marvellous and cheeky Pilot Whales. The family pod approached and were very curious as they came in for a close look as we smiled to see three brand new calves in the pod. The little ones were absolutely gorgeous and were over accentuating their surfacing to make sure those exhalations and inhalation were well clear of the big blue they now call home. It was another incredible day observing the Australian Orca hunt a juvenile Beaked Whale and how the family pod worked together to achieve this success. The season has observed consistent success by many of the families but especially Queen and her pod showing their brilliant skillset when it comes to hunting one of the most elusive species in the sea.

Australian Orca Hunt Juvenile Beaked Whale

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