Orcas generally congregate in much smaller groups, so this massive pod of orcas naturally caused some concerns.

So why are they all gathering together?

The first hypothesis was that they were part of a vast extended family. Researchers listened to the orcas’ cries to each other to see if this was true.

Orcas from the same family frequently talk in the same dialect. However, after a brief listen, it became evident that there were many different dialects, implying that they are all from separate families.

So, rather than one large pod, this is a collection of numerous pods converging in this location, which is rare for orca behaviour.

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Could they have met with the intention of mating?

Orcas keep their breeding techniques a closely guarded secret. However, we know they like to mate in warmer waters and the spring. Therefore this video was shot in the winter, which seems to be the wrong season for romance.

What about the possibility of a feeding frenzy?

There are a lot of birds circling overhead in the video, which could imply that there is a lot of food down below. The fish, which is a favourite of orcas in this part of Norway, is most likely herring. However, there is no tail slapping in the video, so it does not appear they are herding them.

Instead, you can see fishing boats off in the distance, and they frequently breach the nets and take fish for themselves. These sophisticated creatures have heard the sound of fishing boats and have banded together because they know there will be food here.

1 Comment

  1. their not hunting or mating i believe they are just having a grand olde time just frolicking sort of like a gathering a celebration of some sort ? i havent heard that they even noticed the few fishing boats aropund them just breaching and splashing around each other only wisah i could have been there i think i would actually feel safe enough to enter the water( usually i wouldnt even think of entering any live water way to may creatures want to either eat/kill you yet with all those orcas around i bet all other predators are far far away LOL hope we get more of this happeneing especially nearer to west coast washington j-pod well
    please be kind to all those who have fin ,feather or fur we need them more than they need us!!!

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