Humpback Whale Lunge Feeding

Humpback whale

The waters between Vancouver Island and mainland British Columbia are alive with herring, which are the staple in the food chain. Diving birds and ducks feed on the herring and forces them into “herring balls” which are a tight mass of swirling herring from the size a basketball to the size of a small boat.  The duck force them to the surface where the seagulls and eagle dive into to feed.  As a guide I try to locate these balls by watching the gulls, then position the boat near the gulls and wait for the humpbacks to come and feed. If all work as planned then we get a photo such as the one above with a humpback whale taking in a mouthful of herring.