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

Support pours in for Bowser couple whose home was destroyed by massive blaze

GoFundMe page reached $10,000 in one day for soon-to-be parents

Genre-hopping harpist, singer to perform in Parksville

Musician on a quest to demystify harp playing GZAL on Jan. 24

Councillor has concerns about Qualicum Beach pot shop decision

Debate over location, public consultation and timing continues, though commitment already made

Oceanside RCMP arrest man wanted on several outstanding warrants

Hudson David Klassen, 26, picked up in Parksville

REPLAY: B.C’s best videos this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl, beat Chiefs 37-31 in OT

New England will meet L.A. Rams in NFL title game

Truck convoy honouring Nanaimo boy who died after being struck by vehicle

Trucks left from Victoria and others joined along the way up the Island

Parksville addictions treatment advocate to speak in Port Alberni

Recovering addict Kelly seeks to share more of her story with second event

12 poisoned eagles found in Cowichan Valley

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

Elderly man dead following Union Bay collision

Crash happened Sunday afternoon

Pettersson returns to lead Canucks to 3-2 win over Red Wings

Vancouver’s super rookie has 2 points in first game back after knee injury

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Most Read