How Do Orca Find Food?

How do Orca find food? Everyday for an Orca pod is all about finding food and today was no exception as matriarchs Cookie and Alki were busy searching for that elusive meal. Orca will find food by sound and echolocating in the Bremer Canyon population, their prey is pelagic and always on the move so the Orca need to be as well. The Patch proves to be a popular spot to find either squid or Beaked Whale consistently so many family pods tend to spend much of their time here during summer and early autumn. Foraging dives enable the Orca to listen in to their environment to try and detect any sounds from the foraging Beaked Whales who also echolocate themselves to find their prey in the depths below. Should a Beaked Whale be detected the Orca will stalk the area and patiently wait for that individual to surface which can sometimes take 1-3 hours with the record breaking breath holds of these deep diving cetaceans. Squid is generally targeted through echolocating from the Orca and doesn’t appear to require as much stealth compared to when they are tracking a Beaked Whale.

Today we spent time with Cookie and her family pod along with Cooee, Echo, Rosemary and Poppy once again as a repeat of yesterdays pod situation. It appeared they had returned back from their long trip to the east and were busy focusing in on finding a meal today in The Patch. Later in the morning the family surged towards each other to regroup as a second family pod arrived on scene as Alki moved in towards the south. It was lovely to see them including young male Nani and sprouting sibling Slater as the two boys cruised together while Alki moved with little Helen and the rest of her family pod. Today was all about discipline for the Orca as they covered ground efficiently and worked hard to try and secure a decent meal today. It was a hard day fishing for the Orca with no clear observation of a meal having been found as we wished them well for the late afternoon and evening foraging ahead. Sometimes it can take the families many hours until a meal is found and is one of the reasons why they will celebrate after a hunt due to the immense effort foraging, tracking and hunting requires when the Orca need to find their food.

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