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

Just Posted

Documentary reminds of many unanswered questions about Granger Taylor’s disappearance

‘Spaceman’ was the name of the CBC documentary but where, really, did the Duncan man go in 1980?

Fifth pick Braylon Lumb leads Cowichan trio at WLA draft

Junior B players Robertson and Martin also selected

Julia Ullrich delighted to be playing Maria in ‘The Sound of Music’

Rehearsing with the children and the talented musicians has been a special highlight for her

UPDATE: Missing Duncan woman found

35-year-old Raine Cook has been located

Indoor tournaments showcase Cowichan Valley field hockey talent

Local players on top two teams at senior tournament, Cowichan Typhoons finish second at U18 event

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

Cowichan Coffee Time: New faces and chipping in

• Duncan resident Gianpierro (GP) Denomme is the newest volunteer member of… Continue reading

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Man in Vancouver Island hotel shooting pleads guilty to second-degree murder

Brandon Tyler Woody, from Victoria, to be sentenced in late March in B.C. Supreme Court

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Most Read