Drone Spying on Orcas Captures Their Hunting Routine

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Written by Hannah Crawford

Published: January 30, 2024

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Wild Orcas Whales pod in open water in blue ocean
© Willyam Bradberry/Shutterstock.com

Watching a wild animal hunt is a very enthralling experience. So much of the footage we see of animal hunts online takes place overseas in Africa. It’s easy to capture the vast open plains during these hunts to see all angles of the animals hunting. However, animal hunts in the ocean are a bit hard to capture. But not for this hunter in the video above. He used his drone to give us an ariel view of this hunt. 

Orca Pod Sighting in New Zealand

The YouTube video at the top takes us to Port Jackson in New Zealand. It just so happened that it was on Christmas Day, and this orca pod decided to get some early Christmas presents. The Mick Bates YouTube page shared drone footage that captured this sight. This hunter posts every few months of animals such as fish, deer, and sharks

How Do Orca Pods Hunt?

At the start of the video shown above, we see a massive orca, otherwise known as a killer whale. He is swimming with what looks to be a junior orca. The best way for these young whales to learn how to hunt successfully is to hunt with mature killer whales. 

According to the National Wildlife Federation, orcas are often known as the “wolves of the sea” for how successfully they use their group to hunt. “Orcas hunt in packs, using their numbers to herd prey into a small or isolated area before attacking.” 

Soon, they are joined by a third orca who is seen just up ahead. They will use a series of vocal clicks known as echolocation to hunt successfully. They use this sensory type ability to locate where the food is in the water. At 1:45, they located what looked to be a manta ray. But we see it was able to escape from this pod quickly.

What Animals Are in New Zealand?

Hector's Dolphin (Cephalorhynchus hectori), the world's smallest and rarest marine dolphin, Akaroa Harbour, New Zealand

The Hector’s dolphin can be found in New Zealand.


New Zealand is surrounded by the Tasman Sea and is approximately 103,483 square miles. According to the Ministry for the Environment, there are more than 80,000 species of animals, plants, and fungi that can be found here. Within these species are many animals that are native to New Zealand, such as fish, insects, birds, lizards, and frogs. 

The Department of Conservation there shares that the only native mammals that they have are bats: the long-tailed bat and the lesser short-tailed bat. Other marine mammals can be found in New Zealand as well. 

Of course, the famous killer whale can also be found in New Zealand as we see from the video above. However, of their population of 90,000 or so, only up to 200 of them can be found in New Zealand.

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About the Author

Hannah Crawford is a writer at A-Z Animals where she focuses on reptiles, mammals, and locations in Africa. Hannah has been researching and writing about animals and various countries for over eight years. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Communication\Performance Studies from Pensacola Christian College, which she earned in 2015. Hannah is a resident in Florida, and enjoys theatre, poetry, and growing her fish tank.

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