An Albatross Photographs a Killer Whale


Well, not really. The camera was attached to the back of the albatross in a study of how the birds feed alongside marine mammals at sea. Four birds got the cameras, but this one managed to snap a shot as they hovered over a killer whale at South Georgia in the Southern Ocean:

"The amazing pictures reveal albatrosses foraging in groups while at
sea collecting food for their chicks. It also provides the first
observation of an albatross feeding with a killer whale – a strategy
they may adopt for efficiency. The camera, developed by the National Institute for Polar Research
in Tokyo, is removed when the albatross returns to its breeding ground
after foraging trips. It is small (the size of a packet of polo mints*)
and weighs 82g. Although the camera slightly changes the aerodynamic
shape of the albatross, it didn't affect the breeding success of the
study birds."


  1. Strepsi says

    ANDY I love your animal stories — your site is so well rounded. Thanks.

    BTW, it helps positive image for these beautiful creatures if you don’t call them Killer Whales — the politically correct term here in Canada is Orca. Then again, your country still says Eskimo…

  2. says

    Um, Streps, they *are* killer whales… lest they’ve started a vegetarian movement over the past few years I didn’t know about…

    I’m not sure I know anyone who’s a) not in awe of them or b) actually scared of them. They’re beautiful creatures, no matter what they’re called. “Killer Whale” is in the American vernacular and has been so for a very long time — the duration of which they’ve been amongst the most beloved of animal creatures in the US.

  3. says

    Awesome picture- and “Killer Whale” is the common vernacular, but is wrong, since they’re actually a type of Dolphin, and they don’t just kill whales, but other sea mammals too. Orca is the scientifically preferred term…

  4. rafi says

    For clarity, “Eskimo” isn’t used country-wide here. I learned that “Inuit” was preferred when I was in third or fourth grade. In Texas.