Surface Lunging Humpback Whale II

Gina Ruttle  (Whalegeek)

Palos Park, United States

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This is the gaping maw of a humpback whale as it lunges to the surface of the water, engulfing krill in its immense mouth. Seabirds fluttered or floated near the whale as its feeding brought krill to the surface where the birds could enjoy their own feeding frenzy. One has an excellent view of this humpback’s baleen plates on its upper jaw (they are the brushy, hairy plates on either side of the pink top of the whale’s mouth).

During November and well into early winter, many Southeast Alaskan humpback whales prepare for their epic wintertime migration to warm Hawaiian waters by gorging in rich cold Alaskan waters on the aforementioned krill, a tiny shrimplike crustacean.

On November 11, 2010 I filmed and photographed a group of approximately 20-25 northeast Pacific humpback whales surface lunge feeding on krill in a small waterway off of SE Alaska’s Admiralty Island. I invite you to view the video below, Surface Lunging Humpback Whales to observe whales slamming their immense tail flukes down on the water to stun krill while they corral their food by swimming circular patterns around the krill. Next a huge set of gaping jaws lunges to the surface to engulf massive quantities of krill. If you look closely, you will see the humpback whales’ baleen as well as gaze into the open eyes on some of the whales.

Another view of a surface lunging humpback whale

Humpback whale lunge feeding…notice the open eye of the huge whale.

Surface Lunging Humpback Whales

Alaska’s Inside Passage, USA

November 11, 2010

Canon 7D, Canon 100-400mm f4.5/5.6L IS lens, shutter 1/125, f/4.5, exposure bias +1.00, shutter priority mode, focal length 105mm, ISO 400

If It Moves Shoot It (January, 2011)
Alaska~Beyond Your Dreams (May, 2011)

Artwork Comments

  • Barbara Burkhardt
  • Gina Ruttle  (Whalegeek)
  • chrythmnove
  • Gina Ruttle  (Whalegeek)
  • Rebelle
  • Gina Ruttle  (Whalegeek)
  • Bunny Clarke
  • Gina Ruttle  (Whalegeek)
  • Ann  Van Breemen
  • Gina Ruttle  (Whalegeek)
  • AuntDot
  • Gina Ruttle  (Whalegeek)
  • Linda Jackson
  • Gina Ruttle  (Whalegeek)
  • Linda Jackson
  • Gina Ruttle  (Whalegeek)
  • Luann wilslef
  • Gina Ruttle  (Whalegeek)
  • TomBaumker
  • Gina Ruttle  (Whalegeek)
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