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

Thirty trees destroyed in Parksville’s Cedar Ridge Estates

Damage estimated at $30K; city says vandals intended to permanently ruin the trees

City of Parksville buys 222 Corfield site, now sole owners

With the purchase, the city will not facilitate cold weather shelter, soup kitchen on property

Canadian Music Hall of Famer Steven Page to play Parksville

Barenaked Ladies co-founder performs at Knox United Church on June 1

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

So, do you know ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’?

Ontario man searching for fellow he travelled with in Europe 50 years ago

B.C. firefighters rescue frozen dog from ice

The fire crew found a dog stuck in the at Lake Paul on May 20

Most British Columbians agree the ‘big one’ is coming, but only 50% are prepared

Only 46 per cent of British Columbians have prepared an emergency kit with supplies they might need

B.C. man to pay Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party $20k over lawsuit

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

RCMP searching for missing Vancouver Island teenager

16-year-old Lasheena Seward was reported missing from a group home in Port Alberni

Sitting and sleeping on downtown sidewalks could net $100 fine in Penticton

The measure, which still requires final approval, would be enforced between May and Sept. 30

Survey finds 15% of Canadian cannabis users with a valid licence drive within two hours of using

Survey also finds middle-aged men are upping their usage following legalization

Most Read