Susan Bird@susan_bird_

We protect what we love... may my images inspire profound love and appreciation for our oceans and their inhabitants.

http://wayofthewhale.com/

When I first swam alongside this whale shark she was passively feeding on Bonita eggs but as the egg clusters grew denser, she shifted to a more rigorous vacuum-like suction technique. The small fish accompanying the shark are masterful at avoiding being swallowed. With @_adventurequestx @sea_legacy @_tomconlin #wayofthewhale #ocean #underwaterphotography #adventure #whalesharks


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We applaud Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit and the government of Dominica for planning a complete ban of the use of common plastics and single use styrofoam products effective January 2019. This Caribbean island nation known for its exquisite natural beauty is home to resident Sperm whales who live in matrilineal social groups just offshore the Caribbean coastline. You can hear the clicking language of social group Unit R at the beginning of this short clip. @sea_legacy @_tomconlin @_adventurequestx @cristinamittermeier @paulnicklen #wayofthewhale #conservation #underwaterphotography #adventure #marineconservation #dominica #whales


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There is something so simplistically beautiful in the pure essence of a new life. I was mesmerized by this humpback calf. With @_aquaticadventures and @_tomconlin #wayofthewhale #ocean #conservation #underwaterphotography #adventure #whales


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How does a sperm whale spell relief? Like humans, sperm whales occasionally have the need to ‘off-gas’ as you can see (and hear!) in this short and poignant clip. The female juvenile, named Rap, seemed quite deliberate in this behavior as she swam in tandem with a younger member of her social group. I’ll admit that I flooded my mask laughing at her gesture. With @_adventurequestx @_tomconlin #wayofthewhale #ocean #conservation #underwaterphotography #adventure #dominica


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Whale sharks dine exclusively on tiny lifeforms such as plankton and krill, usually swallowing their food whole. They often passively gather food by swimming lazily with their mouths agape to swallow tiny creatures in their path. However when they find a dense cluster of food they use a suction technique, rapidly opening and closing their jaws to suck dinner into their mouths. With @adventurequestx13 @_tomconlin @sea_legacy #wayofthewhale #underwaterphotography #adventure #ocean #conservation #whaleshark #marinebiology


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While filming whale sharks in Isla Mujeres a manta emerged from the deep to catch my eye. I dove down to swim alongside the lovely creature, thinking it would be a short but sweet encounter. To my surprise the manta willingly swam with me for several minutes, at times gliding directly at me only to peel off at the last second. She seemed to enjoy the underwater antics (nearly!) as much as I did. When I share an inter species connection like this, I’m reminded that all living creatures on the planet deserve our love and appreciation. With @adventurequestx13 @_tomconlin @sea_legacy #wayofthewhale #ocean #conservation #underwaterphotography #adventure #love


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One distinguishing feature of the fin whale is its asymmetrical coloring. The left side of the head is always dark gray while the right side displays complex patterns of light and dark markings. Sadly Iceland is presently slaughtering fin whales in direct violation of the IWCs sanctions to protect the endangered species. In fact whaling company Hvalur hf has also killed an endangered blue whale, prompting Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir to announce that the Icelandic government will conduct a full review of the whaling industry this fall. Please keep the pressure on... tell Iceland to #StopIcelandWhaling. @sea_legacy @paulnicklen @cristinamittermeier @adventurequestx13 @_tomconlin #wayofthewhale #ocean #conservation #underwaterphotography Image taken under Azores governmental permit n.0 02-ORAC-2018 issued Feb 22, 2018


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Like snowflakes, no two whale sharks share the exact same pattern. The artistic arrangement of white spots on their bodies is unique to each individual. #wayofthewhale #ocean #conservation #underwaterphotography #adventure @adventurequestx13 @_tomconlin @sea_legacy


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Humpback Mother and Calf in flight. The determined look in the mother’s eye and the placement of her calf on the far side of her body indicated that she was ready to swim away from our group. We had been floating with the pair for about 20 minutes enjoying a relaxed encounter and there was no doubt when the mother decided it was time for them to move on to their next adventure. We build trust with animals in the wild when we respect their willingness to engage as well as their desire to end these interspecies encounters on their own terms and timing. #wayofthewhale #ocean #whales #adventure #conservation #underwaterphotography @_tomconlin @_aquaticadventures @sea_legacy


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Mantas share a taste for Bonita eggs and are often found gliding among the whale sharks in the warm waters of the Caribbean to feed on the protein-rich delicacy. This manta was missing its tail but still had a flair for dramatic, intentionally showing off for the camera with a barrel roll. With @adventurequestx13 @sea_legacy @_tomconlin @paulnicklen @cristinamittermeier #wayofthewhale #ocean #conservation #underwaterphotography #whaleshark #adventure


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Although whale sharks dine exclusively on very small forms of marine life and usually swallow their food whole, they nevertheless have more than 300 rows of teeth. These gentle creatures can grow to 40 ft in length and pose no threat to humans. What I found most interesting while swimmers among them was that each whale shark had a distinctive personality. The one pictured here was particularly friendly and receptive to being filmed. With @_tomconlin @adventurequestx13 @sea_legacy @cristinamittermeier @paulnicklen #wayofthewhale #ocean #conservation #underwaterphotography #whaleshark #adventure


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Whale sharks migrate to the warm waters of the Caribbean each year to feed on Bonita eggs. They surface from deeper waters to skim the surface for the tiny eggs. This year @sea_legacy teamed up with @adventurequestx13 in Isla Mujeres, Mexico to document the spectacle. @cristinamittermeier @paulnicklen @_tomconlin #wayofthewhale #underwaterphotography #conservation #ocean #whaleshark


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