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BBC Wildlife 1

In the April issue Tourism Canada promotes wildlife excursions at various sites and on species such as cariboos, bears, birds and whales throughout the country. Flipping through the magazine one astounding photograph of falcons, marmots and other wildlife follows the next. Then, turning page 77, out of the blue a minke whale lunges right into the air.

Crowsfoot promotes whale-watching

It took me a few seconds to realize that I have taken this shot in 2001 when we collected behavioural data on the minke whale named Crowsfoot surface feeding just off the harbour of Les Bergeronnes. I remember that day well as it was sunny, warm and no wind touched the glossy water surface. Ned and I watched Crowsfoot applying all lunging manouevres described by us as she attacked the fish vertically, obliquely, laterally and ventrally at steep angles and laterally and ventrally in horizontal arcs. Each time she exposed her pinkish belly, the fully expanded grooves and her powerful hunting tactics. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen this experienced surface feeder for a long time although she was a regular visitor from 1995 to 2003.

It is a pleasure that whale watching is advertised by a less known species such as the minke whales. On page 89 in the BBC Wildlife magazine, Tourisme Quebec uses another shot this time showing the calf Aramis breaching beside her mother Tic-Tac-Toe, a humpback whale known since 1998.


Read up on our field stories 2011