Orcas, commonly known as killer whales, are lured to the Sunshine Coast’s waters during the winter months thanks to the abundance of food on offer…with a favourite being the humpback and minke whales!
Orcas prey on these whales, and with thousands likely to visit our shores from May – November, it’s highly likely there’ll be some orca pods lurking in the background!
Here are some facts about these fascinating creatures to help you spot one on your whale watching tour.
- Orcas are black and white, with a white eye patch
- They can weigh up to 6 tonnes, and range from 23 to 30 feet in length
- Their average lifespan is 50 to 80 years
- They have a diverse diet, feeding on fish, marine animals and even other whales
- Lucky for them however, there is no other animal that preys on them!
- They are a toothed whale
- Orcas can be found in each of the world’s oceans and in a variety of marine environments
- They’re extremely intelligent and highly social animals
- They hunt in pods – family groups of up to 40 individuals
- Their sophisticated hunting techniques and vocal behaviours are often specific to particular groups and passed across generations
- Contrary to popular belief, wild killer whales are actually not considered a threat to humans – they’ve only ever been aggressive towards humans whilst kept in captivity!
- Unlike most other species of whales, Orca whales do not appear to follow a regular migration route each year, instead driven by the availability of food
- Orcas are not actually whales, but in fact the largest of the dolphins!
With more humpback whales to feed on, it’s highly likely there’ll be more orca pods in the Sunshine Coast’s waters this winter! Another reason to book your whale watching tour with Sunshine Coast Afloat, to view all these wondrous animals at play!