Photogrammetry image of an adult female Southern Resident (J16) as she’s about to surface with her youngest calf, born earlier this year, alongside. Future photogrammetry will allow scientists to monitor the growth of the calf and condition of the mother to ensure they are getting an adequate food supply. Credit: NOAA Fisheries, Vancouver Aquarium. Taken by UAV from above 90 feet under NMFS research permit and FAA flight authorization. More information at http://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/podcasts/2015/10/uav_killer_whale.html

Photos de famille chez les orques

Les orques sont de superbes animaux mammifères marins que l’on voit habituellement depuis le raz de l’eau. Un aileron, un rostre qui pointe pour happer une otarie. Rien de plus.

Mais les chercheurs du NOAA les ont suivies avec un drone aérien et on pu tirer quelques photos assez éblouissantes.

Overhead image of the newest member of the Southern Resident killer whale population, L122, just days after being born to first-time mother L91. This image shows the small size of neonate calves and the close bond between mother and calf that will last a lifetime. Credit: NOAA Fisheries, Vancouver Aquarium. Taken by UAV from above 90 feet under NMFS research permit and FAA flight authorization. More information at http://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/podcasts/2015/10/uav_killer_whale.html

Overhead image of the newest member of the Southern Resident killer whale population, L122, just days after being born to first-time mother L91. This image shows the small size of neonate calves and the close bond between mother and calf that will last a lifetime. Credit: NOAA Fisheries, Vancouver Aquarium. Taken by UAV from above 90 feet under NMFS research permit and FAA flight authorization. More information at http://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/podcasts/2015/10/uav_killer_whale.html

New mother L91 eating a salmon as her newborn calf looks on. This fish was caught and given to her by other members of the family group, showing that relatives help her as she cares for her calf. Image to be used for health assessment. Credit: NOAA Fisheries, Vancouver Aquarium. Taken by UAV from above 90 feet under NMFS research permit and FAA flight authorization. More information at http://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/podcasts/2015/10/uav_killer_whale.html

New mother L91 eating a salmon as her newborn calf looks on. This fish was caught and given to her by other members of the family group, showing that relatives help her as she cares for her calf. Image to be used for health assessment. Credit: NOAA Fisheries, Vancouver Aquarium. Taken by UAV from above 90 feet under NMFS research permit and FAA flight authorization. More information at http://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/podcasts/2015/10/uav_killer_whale.html

An adult female Southern Resident killer whale (L94) nursing her calf. Lactation is energetically costly for these whales, and future photogrammetry images of the calf’s growth and the mother’s condition will reveal if the mother is getting enough food to support both herself and the calf. Note the distinctive saddle patch on the mother. This allows scientists to recognize individual whales in photographs. Credit: NOAA Fisheries, Vancouver Aquarium. Taken by UAV from above 90 feet under NMFS research permit and FAA flight authorization. More information at http://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/podcasts/2015/10/uav_killer_whale.html

An adult female Southern Resident killer whale (L94) nursing her calf. Lactation is energetically costly for these whales, and future photogrammetry images of the calf’s growth and the mother’s condition will reveal if the mother is getting enough food to support both herself and the calf. Note the distinctive saddle patch on the mother. This allows scientists to recognize individual whales in photographs. Credit: NOAA Fisheries, Vancouver Aquarium. Taken by UAV from above 90 feet under NMFS research permit and FAA flight authorization. More information at http://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/podcasts/2015/10/uav_killer_whale.html

A photogrammetry image of the entire I16 matriline of Northern Resident killer whales taken in 2014. This image shows the size of whales at different ages. Note the small, gray calf in the middle (I144), only a few months old, swimming to the right of its mother (I51). To the left of the mother is the calf’s older sibling (I129). Images to be used for health assessment. Credit: NOAA Fisheries, Vancouver Aquarium. Taken by UAV from above 90 feet under Fisheries and Oceans Canada research permit and Transport Canada flight authorization. More information at http://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/podcasts/2015/10/uav_killer_whale.html

A photogrammetry image of the entire I16 matriline of Northern Resident killer whales taken in 2014. This image shows the size of whales at different ages. Note the small, gray calf in the middle (I144), only a few months old, swimming to the right of its mother (I51). To the left of the mother is the calf’s older sibling (I129). Images to be used for health assessment. Credit: NOAA Fisheries, Vancouver Aquarium. Taken by UAV from above 90 feet under Fisheries and Oceans Canada research permit and Transport Canada flight authorization. More information at http://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/podcasts/2015/10/uav_killer_whale.html

Another image of I51 and her two offspring, this one taken in 2015. Comparing this image to the one taken the year before, one can see that the youngest calf (I144) has lost its gray mottling and grown considerably. It is now almost half the length of its mother and approaching the length of its older sibling (I129). These images show how scientists can track the growth of individual whales across time to monitor their health and condition. Credit: NOAA Fisheries, Vancouver Aquarium. Taken by UAV from above 90 feet under Fisheries and Oceans Canada research permit and Transport Canada flight authorization. More information at http://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/podcasts/2015/10/uav_killer_whale.html

Another image of I51 and her two offspring, this one taken in 2015. Comparing this image to the one taken the year before, one can see that the youngest calf (I144) has lost its gray mottling and grown considerably. It is now almost half the length of its mother and approaching the length of its older sibling (I129). These images show how scientists can track the growth of individual whales across time to monitor their health and condition. Credit: NOAA Fisheries, Vancouver Aquarium. Taken by UAV from above 90 feet under Fisheries and Oceans Canada research permit and Transport Canada flight authorization. More information at http://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/podcasts/2015/10/uav_killer_whale.html

Photogrammetry image of an adult female Southern Resident (J16) as she’s about to surface with her youngest calf, born earlier this year, alongside. Future photogrammetry will allow scientists to monitor the growth of the calf and condition of the mother to ensure they are getting an adequate food supply. Credit: NOAA Fisheries, Vancouver Aquarium. Taken by UAV from above 90 feet under NMFS research permit and FAA flight authorization. More information at http://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/podcasts/2015/10/uav_killer_whale.html

Photogrammetry image of an adult female Southern Resident (J16) as she’s about to surface with her youngest calf, born earlier this year, alongside. Future photogrammetry will allow scientists to monitor the growth of the calf and condition of the mother to ensure they are getting an adequate food supply. Credit: NOAA Fisheries, Vancouver Aquarium. Taken by UAV from above 90 feet under NMFS research permit and FAA flight authorization. More information at http://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/podcasts/2015/10/uav_killer_whale.html

Photogrammetry image the A42 family group of Northern residents. Killer whales travel in their matrilineal family group their entire lives. Here the matriarch A42 is in the middle with her newest calf beneath her. Note A42’s distinctive saddle patch. This allows scientists to recognize individual whales from the photographs and assess their health. Credit: NOAA Fisheries, Vancouver Aquarium. Taken by UAV from above 90 feet under Fisheries and Oceans Canada research permit and Transport Canada flight authorization. More information at http://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/podcasts/2015/10/uav_killer_whale.html

Photogrammetry image the A42 family group of Northern residents. Killer whales travel in their matrilineal family group their entire lives. Here the matriarch A42 is in the middle with her newest calf beneath her. Note A42’s distinctive saddle patch. This allows scientists to recognize individual whales from the photographs and assess their health. Credit: NOAA Fisheries, Vancouver Aquarium. Taken by UAV from above 90 feet under Fisheries and Oceans Canada research permit and Transport Canada flight authorization. More information at http://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/podcasts/2015/10/uav_killer_whale.html

Photogrammetry image of an adult female Southern Resident killer whale (J28) traveling with her juvenile offspring (J46). This image reveals the wide body profile of the mother, indicating that she is likely pregnant and due to have a second calf in the coming months. Credit: NOAA Fisheries, Vancouver Aquarium. Taken by UAV from above 90 feet under NMFS research permit and FAA flight authorization. More information at http://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/podcasts/2015/10/uav_killer_whale.html

Photogrammetry image of an adult female Southern Resident killer whale (J28) traveling with her juvenile offspring (J46). This image reveals the wide body profile of the mother, indicating that she is likely pregnant and due to have a second calf in the coming months. Credit: NOAA Fisheries, Vancouver Aquarium. Taken by UAV from above 90 feet under NMFS research permit and FAA flight authorization. More information at http://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/podcasts/2015/10/uav_killer_whale.html

Photogrammetry image of an adult male Southern Resident killer whale (L41). This photo shows the tall dorsal fin, curved flukes, and large pectoral fins characteristic of adult males. Images to be used for health assessment. Credit: NOAA Fisheries, Vancouver Aquarium. Taken by UAV from above 90 feet under NMFS research permit and FAA flight authorization. More information at http://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/podcasts/2015/10/uav_killer_whale.html

Photogrammetry image of an adult male Southern Resident killer whale (L41). This photo shows the tall dorsal fin, curved flukes, and large pectoral fins characteristic of adult males. Images to be used for health assessment. Credit: NOAA Fisheries, Vancouver Aquarium. Taken by UAV from above 90 feet under NMFS research permit and FAA flight authorization. More information at http://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/podcasts/2015/10/uav_killer_whale.html

Photogrammetry image of an adult male Southern Resident killer whale (K21). These images are being used to measure growth and body condition of whales that can be individually recognized from the distinctive pigmentation of their gray saddle patches, which allows scientists to monitor their health. Credit: NOAA Fisheries, Vancouver Aquarium. Taken by UAV from above 90 feet under NMFS research permit and FAA flight authorization. More information at http://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/podcasts/2015/10/uav_killer_whale.html

Photogrammetry image of an adult male Southern Resident killer whale (K21). These images are being used to measure growth and body condition of whales that can be individually recognized from the distinctive pigmentation of their gray saddle patches, which allows scientists to monitor their health. Credit: NOAA Fisheries, Vancouver Aquarium. Taken by UAV from above 90 feet under NMFS research permit and FAA flight authorization. More information at http://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/podcasts/2015/10/uav_killer_whale.html