Spotted Eagle rays are common around when diving with Two Fish Divers Bunaken Resort and we have been getting even more eagle ray sightings in Bunaken recently. They seem to hang out near Lekuan 3 on the edge of the slope where beginners and experienced divers alike can get to see them. This is usually where we descend with all divers at the start of the dive but also where training students spend a lot of time practicing skills. Some dives they swim around the same spot for the whole dive with many close swim-bys. It is very exciting for students who have never dived before to be next to something so special. Very memorable!
Eagle Rays In Bunaken Marine Park
Eagle Rays are in the same family as Manta Rays. The spotted eagle rays are normally seen alone but sometimes are in groups. When you see eagle rays in Bunaken you’ll see tha their tail is much longer than other rays and they prefer cooler water (24-27 degrees). In Bunaken the temperature has been 27-28 degrees and is perfect temperature to see the Eagle Rays while not getting too cold. Sharks too like the cooler water which probably explains why we are sighting more at the moment. Because the walls are so deep in Bunaken when the temperature is too warm the Eagle Rays and Sharks head a bit deeper or further offshore until the temperature drops again.
At the end of last month PADI Divemaster Bastien and PADI Instructor Maia saw a school of 6 white tip reef sharks swimming around the same area. They would have loved to stay down and watch the sharks for longer but they were deeper and their computers said they needed to come shallower, safety first! Luckily a small eagle ray swooped down as they came shallow and it circled them and then started hunting through a school of barracuda and mackerel.
On our day trip to the northern islands in Bunaken Marine Park we had 3-4 eagle rays in Bunaken, circling at a time, hunting. We might have had up to 12 individual encounters, it was so beautiful! There is some awesome footage from the eagle rays below and the video from the day trip we did at the beginning of the year is on our Facebook page.
Eagle Rays in Bunaken… On video!
We have seen plenty of juvenile eagle rays in Bunaken following the adults so hopefully, the population is increasing and you can join us to experience these majestic creatures. At the very end of last year, there was a funny baby eagle ray that had to flap its wings super hard to keep up with the grown-ups. The Divemaster trainees who saw it thought it looked hilarious and couldn’t stop laughing. It was very cute!
You never know what you might see in Bunaken Marine Park but you have to be in it to win it, as they say. We hope you get to see one on your next diving trip with Two Fish Divers in Bunaken National Park.
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