By Zoe Cassell
INCREDIBLE images of a group of humpback whales breaching to feed against a backdrop of snowy mountains will leave you stunned.
The jaw-dropping photographs show a pod of whales bubble-net feeding, where they circle their prey blowing bubbles to create an underwater fence to trap them.
The whales were captured on camera by Espen Bergersen (36) an engineer and wildlife photographer in Kvaløya, Northern Norway.
“Bubble-net feeding is a behaviour that Humpback Whales have. They feed on fish or krill, usually in groups,” said Espen.
“While circling their prey the whales blow bubbles out of their blowhole.
“This creates a ‘fence’ or net of ‘bubbles’ that prevent the prey from escaping.
“[Then] several whales simultaneously swim upwards with their mouths open to feed on the trapped prey.”
Espen has spent hours at sea trying to photograph the majestic mammals up close.
“I live in an area where the humpback whales come to feed on the herring regularly,” he said.
“The day I took these images is one of the most memorable I have as a nature photographer.
“They were breaching so close to the boat. It’s not often I get goose bumps when I photograph nature but this time I did.”
Espen was able to shoot the hungry creatures from a boat approximately seventy-metres from the action.
“At the closest they were very close. To be honest I didn’t want them breaching any closer,” he added.
“A breaching humpback whale probably creates one of the world’s biggest belly flops.”
Espen hopes his photography show people that our planet is worth taking care of.
“I want to show people the beauty of our surroundings and the animals that live there.
“We have no spare planet and pictures of nature may increase people’s awareness of what we have, and what we should take care of.”