Spy hopping is coming out of the water and staying above the surface the same way a human treads water. Some adult male killer whales spy hop for longer periods of time and get as much as half of its body above the surface of the water. Orcas spy hop to examine its surroundings and it is believed that an Orca can see as well above the surface as it can below. If an Orca hears anything strange, they may spyhop to see what is approaching. This past summer the Whale Research vessel in our area was using a drone for observation and we noticed much more spy hopping while the drone was in the air.