Three Orcas breach the water's surface in Johnstone Strait

VIDEO: Drone footage captures bird’s eye view of B.C. orcas

The Vancouver Aquarium captured over 30,000 photos of killer whales off northern Vancouver Island's coast, in Johnstone Strait, in August.



The video above captures a pod of orcas, filmed by the Vancouver Aquarium in Johnstone Strait – a piece of B.C. water between Vancouver Island and the mainland. The Aquarium says it filmed the pod in August using a drone camera aboard a hexacopter, and that this footage is the first time a drone has been used to monitor whales for scientific purposes (VanCity Buzz).

The Aquarium says the footage is a new form of research that allows scientists to capture a different angle of the whales, and to discover new information about their swimming patterns, behaviours, and movements.

“For me, this is an entirely new perspective and it’s very exciting. It’s just like opening my eyes to a different view of the whales,” said the Aquarium’s Lance Barrett-Lennard. “We’ve always felt studying killer whales or any marine mammal is challenging. It’s like studying a board that disappears every time it flies off the nest, right? Every time they go under water we, ‘What happens?’ We don’t know.

“Seeing them from above, we see them going down. We see them coming up. We see a lot more of their behaviour than we do when we’re watching them horizontally from a boat.”

Barrett-Lennard said the drone was positioned about 100 feet above the whales. Used in 60 missions off northern Vancouver Island in August, the hexacopter was able to reportedly take 30,000 photos of the whales.

“We were very encouraged,” he said. “We could fly it over the whales (with) no discernable reaction, whatsoever.”

Video/Files: The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tsolum River Restoration Society members keeping busy during COVID-19 times

Young fish can get stranded in the most unlikely of places

Police looking for witnesses to Courtenay bear spray assault

The incident took place Tuesday, May 26 at around 8:30 p.m.

2020 Hornby Island trade tokens of sentimental value only

The Hornby Island Token Project is in its third and final year,… Continue reading

Box containing hundreds of family photos found in Courtenay returned to rightful owner

Local media sources collaborate to solve family photos mystery

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

Comox Valley business map offers information on local eateries, grocery stores and more

Search and click for hours and services offered during the COVID-19 pandemic

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

RCMP told of alleged assault in Courtenay hours after the fact

Police only made aware of possible attack through social media posts

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Stolen gargoyle returns to its perch on central Vancouver Island yard

Petey, a concrete gargoyle statue, was returned by Nanaimo RCMP after being found by city crew

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Most Read