The beautiful sight of blue whales feeding in waters off Taranaki has been captured by researchers from a US university using a drone.
The footage, filmed in February by Oregon State University, has also backed up the researchers' theory that the whales "are capable of making choices".
At one point a blue whale is filmed devouring a school of krill around the same size as the whale itself.
"Our footage shows ... the whale making choices, which is really extraordinary because aerial observations of blue whales feeding on krill are rare," Leigh Torres, principal investigator at Oregon State University's Marine Mammal Institute said in a statement.
"The whale bypasses certain krill patches – presumably because the nutritional payoff isn't sufficient – and targets other krill patches that are more lucrative.
"We had theorised that blue whales make choices like this and the video makes it clear that they do use such a strategy."
The university's video and findings were published yesterday.