Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) lunging vertically with pod of bubble net feeding whales, Chatham Strait, Southeast Alaska, USA.
The seabirds were such an integral part of my experiences with bubble net feeding whales. They followed the feeding whales just as tirelessly as I did from dawn to dusk, and probably beyond. I sometimes relied on them as an early-warning system to indicate where the whales were going to be surfacing, although quiet a lot of times there were false alarms and sometimes there were two different "opinions' going in opposite directions. It wasn't so important to watch them if it was calm because I could usually see the circle of bubbles on the surface, and estimate where the middle of the bubble net was. It was then just a matter of trying to stay as close to the bubbles as possible to avoid the centre where they would be surfacing. But sometimes if the sea was a bit choppy it became a bit more ambiguous because I couldn't tell which way the circle was curving. The best indicators if ever they were around were the sea lions, that always knew exactly where the whales were underwater.
- Duncan Murrell
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