Orca Shadowing Sperm Whale in Bremer Canyon

Orca Shadowing Sperm Whale in Bremer Canyon

The hunting techniques of Orca (Killer Whales) vary greatly around the world and from one pod to another. Specialised hunters will focus on one food source while generalist hunters can consume a wide variety ranging from fish through to other marine mammals. Today we certainly were thinking about the hunting behaviour of the Orca of Bremer Canyon as we watched for the second time this season a pod of Orca shadowing a large bull Sperm Whale, were they planning on pilfering the hard earned meal from the largest toothed predator on the planet? It definitely seemed that way as we watched the Sperm Whale focus on replenishing his oxygen levels after a deep dive while the Orca lingered around only 100 meters away.

The large male Orca who seemed most keen on staying close to the Sperm Whale was Kodja, a well known male from the Bremer Canyon who was named after the Aboriginal Noongar word for spear. His name certainly is fitting for such a large male Orca who was showing us his hunting thought pattern but today may not have been the right time so the pod of five continued their forage along the canyon wall. The breach of a much loved Orca known as Swirl caught our attention and she raced over to greet us like a long lost friend, even though we had seen her just a day ago! The rest of Swirls pod joined up with us and as one we marched back towards The Patch as the afternoon sun changed their hunting behaviour once again.

A sleepy New Zealand Fur Seal was looking rather motionless on the surface before his big whiskers spun around to look up at everyone on the bow, he seemed pleased to see us and decided it was time to show off his thermoregulation which is most commonly seen in marine mammals. The NZ Fur Seals will hold onto their flippers above the oceans surface to regulate their core body temperature, a breeze will cool the blood down while the warm sun will increase the warmth of their blood as it travels back to their core, this way they can maintain the perfect temperature in between diving for the next meal!

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4 Comments

  1. Celia Houghton on March 9, 2018 at 12:38 am

    This was the best day out on the water for myself & son Charlie. Saw everything I had hoped and more-wonderful close encounters with sperm whales,orcas,pilot whales and dolphins all done in a very professional and sensitive way. A wonderful personal experience even for boating people like ourselves from Qld to see these different species-also sea lions!

    • Whale Watch Western Australia on March 9, 2018 at 8:48 am

      Thankyou Celia & Charlie, we are so grateful for the feedback and delighted to see you enjoyed yourself in the Bremer Canyon.
      Hope to see you onboard again soon 😉

  2. Harry Brien on March 14, 2018 at 8:37 am

    To whale watch Western Australia, I pray that your are well, Thank you for your great website, have spent most of today going through it, have new iPad and so do not know what I don’t know.
    Was very interested in the March 4 report with the mention of the three sperm whales. The only ones I have seen were on the flensing ramp at the old Albany whaling station in the 1960s. After looking at your tour site I may need to do a boat tour especially to the Bremer canyon, in some months time my wife and I will do a trip to the head of bight in SA, this will be the third year running, Maybe 2019 will be the start of whale watching tours along the WA coast. My whale watching at the bight has been MAGIC seeing these creatures, as long as our house, just gliding through the water. Hopefully with the Lords blessing I will get to do one of your canyon tours, cheers, harry brien

    • Whale Watch Western Australia on March 14, 2018 at 12:09 pm

      Thank you Harry for you lovely words and it sound like you are sighting the beautiful Southern Right Whales in their nursery ground at the bight, how wonderful! It is a magic place to see these mothers and calves relaxing in pristine waters. We would love to welcome you onboard and the Sperm Whales are extraordinary with the ability to dive for over 90 minutes! We are blessed to have so many wonderful species of whales and dolphins along our Australian coastline and it is fantastic to hear your passion to travel and visit them.

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