Why Do Killer Whales Spyhop?

Why do Killer Whales spyhop?  There are a number of reasons why Orca spyhop and it is this behaviour which brings their eyes above water level and allows them to visually observe what’s happening above the waters surface. Today we were firstly greeted by tiny Grace and her family including matriarch Alki who calmly approached us. It was lovely to see the family travelling together and looking well, they were also surfacing very close by to an oil slick. A small amount of squid had been sighted on the surface earlier in the morning and we were hopeful that this was a successful meal shared amongst Alki and her family pod as little Grace watched on curiously.

Our next interaction was with one of the most well known matriarchs in the canyon, Queen (aka Split Tip/Split Pin) surfaced along with her entire family as they began to forage. It took some focus but a short time later Queen surfaced with squid in her mouth and proceeded to share the catch with Stormy and Flapper. Stormy was very excited and would race around our bow before bumping into Queen, a great deal of excitement involved with every meal shared. It was incredible as Queen welcomed us to the pod and as they playfully shared food and swam underneath our feet, they all began to spyhop. It was beautiful to watch as they lifted themselves gracefully above the surface and a perfectly timed double spyhop stole the show. Feeding complete, we then joined with Noosa, Urkel and their family as they continued an afternoon of foraging and hopefully a successful hunt.

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