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Lunge Feeding 

Lunge feeding is a strategy used by humpback whales to engulf large quantities of concentrated prey.  Bobby Leonard, one of our Citizen Scientists, captured an exceptional video of this behavior just off Rockaway Beach, NY.  


Some interesting points are demonstrated in this video.

 As the whale approaches underwater you can see the schooling "bunker"

get nervous and flash on the surface.  These schooling fish form a tighter and tighter ball as panic sets in.


 The humpback lunges straight up through this ball of fish, capturing hundreds of these oil filled fish in one great gulp.


You can see the throat expand, much like a pelican's beak to suck in the fish.

As the whale sinks back down, it will push the water out through its baleen plates to retain and swallow hundreds of pounds of menhaden.


In the background, another humpback can be seen feeding in the same area so close to Rockaway.

caution - (Audio:  Contains "Salty language)