Megaptera novaeangliae II
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|The species feeds only in summer and lives off fat reserves during winter. Humpback whales will only feed rarely and opportunistically while in their wintering waters. It is an energetic feeder, taking krill and small schooling fish, such as herring (Clupea harengus), salmon, capelin (Mallotus villosus) and sand lance (Ammodytes americanus) as well as Mackerel (Scomber scombrus), pollock (Pollachius virens) and haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) in the North Atlantic. Krill and Copepods have been recorded from Australian and Antarctic waters. It hunts fish by direct attack or by stunning them by hitting the water with its pectoral fins or flukes.|
The humpback has the most diverse repertoire of feeding methods of all baleen whales Its most inventive technique is known as bubble net feeding: a group of whales blows bubbles while swimming in circles to create a ring of bubbles. The ring encircles the fish, which are confined in an ever-tighter area as the whales swim in a smaller and smaller circles. The whales then suddenly swim upward through the bubble net, mouths agape, swallowing thousands of fish in one gulp. This technique can involve a ring of bubbles up to 30 m (100 ft) in diameter and the cooperation of a dozen animals. Some of the whales take the task of blowing the bubbles through their blowholes, some dive deeper to drive fish toward the surface, and others herd fish into the net by vocalizing Humpbacks have been observed bubblenet feeding alone as well.
Humpback whales are preyed upon by Orcas. The result of these attacks is generally nothing more serious than some scarring of the skin, but it is likely that young calves are sometimes killed.
More about Humpback Whale
This photo is taken in Melchior Island in Antarctica. Original format.
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Thank you for posting this great picture and sharing a very informative note with us. I really enjoyed reading about their feeding techniques - that's fascinating.
I love the background in your photo. It shows a totally different sea-scape and makes this shot very unique for TN. Great work.