Video Of the Day – Bubblenet Feeding Humpback Whales

Title: Bubblenet Feeding Humpback Whales

Location: Frederick Sound, Alaska, USA, North America (Find it here on a map)

Description: Bubblenet feeding is great to watch because it tells you where the whales will surface. I’ll admit I’m not a cinematographer so this video is a little raw, but look for the rings of bubbles coming to the surface and wait for the whales to surface.

They blow rings of bubbles around small fish to entrap the fish. The whales then swim through the inside of the ring, scooping up their prey before making it to the surface.

As the whales have separate digestion and respiratory tracks (they eat through their mouth and breathe through their blowhole and the two systems do not share a common ‘pipe’ as in most mammals) they can gobble the fish while taking a nice deep breath on the surface before doing it all over again.

(if you don’t see the video above, click here to watch it on the web)

This video was shot while I was teaching aboard the UnCruise Adventures Safari Endeavour in Frederick Sound, just off the southern tip of Admiralty Island. (Find a map here) I had been shooting stills of these three whales bubblenet feeding in the cold waters when I switched to video. The action gets boring, from a still photography standpoint, when the whales keep bobbing to the surface in a non-dramatic way. But they are still dramatic!

That’s the reason for the video. I was shooting with a heavy rig and over the tops of guests, so the steadiness is not the best. But you get the idea and hopefully can share in some amazement at these long-distance swimming leviathans.

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