Pilot Whales in the Perth Canyon! A very special sighting today of Pilot Whales travelling in the Perth Canyon, a first for our season. Pilot Whales have been known to frequent the deep waters of the Perth Canyon but sightings of them are not regular. Travelling in a pod of 5-8 individuals and showing a brown tinge to their complexion these Pilots Whales were believed to be juveniles. The individuals sighted in the Bremer Canyon with a similar appearance are also juveniles and we have included a couple of images previously captured in the Bremer Canyon for todays Daily Report to show the similarities. The faint white saddle patch could be sighted behind the dorsal fin along with the small, muffled exhalations at the surface. Focused and moving into deeper water, these Pilot Whales were sighted not very far away from a Blue Whale also moving through the area. Seeming shy at first they again surfaced on our stern as they continued their journey through the canyon, cheeky Pilot Whale teenagers looking for a fast meal in the krill cafe!
Pilot Whales are known to frequent deep water canyons and are especially noted in the Bremer Canyon with large pods often sighted in the months of February and March. Feeding on pelagic fish species and squid, they work together as a team to ensure a delicious meal. Diving into the depths in search of their prey each Pilot Whale is often within touching distance of the other, close contact and synchronised breathing establishes a strong bond amongst individuals. Sighting these juvenile Pilot Whales in the Perth Canyon is very exciting as we further our knowledge of the species visiting the canyon and their interaction within different areas of the feeding grounds. Melissa Zappelli did a fantastic job of capturing images of these fast moving juveniles, the first images captured onboard of Pilot Whales in the Perth Canyon for season 2019!