Tim Melling – Orcas

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Tim writes: Orcas are amazing animals that live in family groups where every animal is a blood relative, so no spouses allowed.  Each family group has distinctive vocalisations that they recognise, so they can socialise with groups they get on with, and avoid those they don’t.  Liaisons between groups are when they mate, but animals always return to their families afterwards.  Even more amazing is the fact that there are several different types of Orca that look incredibly similar, but haven’t interbred for thousands of years.  Each type has prey type that does not vary.  So there are mammal-eating Orcas, and fish-eating Orcas.  These two are a mother and youngster fish-eating Orcas which gather every autumn in the Johnstone Strait off Vancouver Island where they feed on the gathering salmon, which wait for the autumn rains to enable their migration up the rivers of British Columbia.  When Orcas surface you only usually see part of the white eyespot but the youngster was far more energetic and thrust his whole head out of the water.  This was taken on a mirror calm day as the pod passed alongside our boat.

 

Taken with a Nikon D7000 and an 80-400mm Nikkor lens on 250mm 1/1000 f16 ISO 800

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