This photo taken an hour earlier than yesterday’s post shows a humpback whale fluking or lobtailing. Lobtailing is the act of a whale lifting its fluke out of the water and then bringing it down onto the surface of the water hard and fast in order to make a loud slap. Large whales tend to lobtail by positioning themselves vertically downwards into the water and then slapping the surface by bending the tail stock. They are likely to slap several times in a single session. The sound of a lobtail can be heard underwater several hundred metres from the site of a slap. This has led to speculation amongst scientists that lobtailing is, like breaching, a form of non-vocal communication. Also some suggest that lobtailing in humpback whales is a means of foraging. The hypothesis is that the loud noise causes herring to become frightened, thus tightening their school together, making it easier for the humpback to feed on them.
Whether you are on the lodge’s front deck, on a grizzly bear trip, whale watching in Johnstone Straits, or on your way to Trapper Rick’s you will see bald eagles. The likely hood of watching them catch a fish increases when whale watching because there is an abundance of herring in the area and therefore more fish to catch. However this eagle picked up a rock cod which is a bottom fish and that means that it was caught and thrown to the eagle to get the photo.
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