Monday, July 6, 2009

Stingray for breakfast

The Waitemata harbour in Auckland has been host most mornings recently to a pod of up to 18 Orca who are on the hunt for stingray. The Orca are coming right into the shallows by the city beaches and putting on quite a show.

Thought I’d share some of the photographs that are around, none of which are mine as unfortunately my pitiful attempts aren’t worth viewing. It’s mid winter here and freezing so forgive the dull early morning weather. At least it wasn’t raining.

Photo by Jonathan Squires


Photo: Jonathan Squires







Photo by Glenn McNae Photo: Glenn McNae

Photo by Brett Phibbs Photo: Brett Phibbs

Photo by Brett Phibbs_2Photo: Brett Phibbs

Apparently stingray are an Orca delicacy, they herd them into the shallows and it’s all on. They mainly eat the liver and leave the rest which worries the biologists as any toxins that the rays have been exposed to would be filtered by the liver and thus ingested by the Orca. At one stage when we were there multiple rays were leaping from the water trying to get away. Amazing stuff, dangerous too as I read that the barb of a stingray can kill even an Orca. Fascinating. Gruesome.


  1. Crikey. Sorry I know that is not funny but I said it anyways. I probably spelled it wrong too.
    I have seen the whales working in teams to dump seals off of ice floes by diving up and landing on the edge of the floe to tip it causing the seal to slide down. If he manages to not fall in the whale jumps off and the seal and ice floe drop in the other direction where another whale is waiting. Amazing.

  2. Yeah bit gruesome eh? Pack hunting.

  3. OMG Lori I am so slow on the update but I get it now - stingray...crikey - lol very good :-)

  4. You are right about the stingray barb...not to fool with.

    Had to look up I get it.

  5. Now I understand why my sister wants to stay in NZ!

  6. C'mon Lou, peddle faster and catch up.

  7. Lol Lori - yes shamefully slow.

    jadedj - yeah poor Steve Irwin :-( we kinda liked him in this household

    PV - ahh family downunder? I hope she staying warm and dry - more rain here so far this season than in a whole English winter.

  8. WOW amazing shots -- the Orca's are amazing - our resident Orca's here on the west coast only hunt salmon so not as violent - unless you are a salmon.
    We adored Steve Irwin in this household too --- always loved his enthusiasm for what this world has.
    Lou - my other NZ friend is also complaining about the weather but we had the harshest winter ever -- I have always wondered if the weather pattern is related -- hmmmmmmmm

  9. Joanne I bet the salmon try and jump out of the way too? Yes our weather sucks - wet and cold but I do feel like a bit of a fraud when I said in the leading paragraph that it's freezing here - it never actually snows in Auckland so compared to Canada this place doesn't get that cold at all but you'd know that already Joanne I guess having stayed here a while.

  10. Lou actually for 10 years we owned property in Russell -- right next to Flagstaff Park. My husband wanted to build there and spend our Canadian winters in NZ - -nice dream.
    Oh and as far as snow in Vancouver -- it happens sometimes but last winter was beyond normal and then some.


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