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Whale Sighting Report  

In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Photo of the Day
Southern Resident orcas?
Transients/Bigg's killer whales
Coastal/Global orcas
Gray whales
Minke or humpback
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The Lost Whale, by Michael Parfit and Suzanne Chisolm  
An intensely personal story...but this person is a young orca.  

Lost Whale book...ver scaled  

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Orcas in Our Midst, volume 3, by Howard Garrett

Orcas in Our Midst,

Vol. 3: Residents and Transients, How Did That Happen?

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The bestseller about orcas in captivity.

Death at SeaWorld, by David Kirby 


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February 16, 2014

We are watching and visiting the whales in their home~

Please observe, love and respect them from a distance.

Having trouble viewing this Sightings Report? Archived Reports can be found HERE.
J pod appeared briefly Sunday in storm-tossed seas across Haro Strait from San Juan Island and Jim Maya got some great photos. The last report of So. Residents was when Jeanne Hyde heard them on the Lime Kiln hydrophone February 10.

Transients/Bigg's Whales have shown up in some large groups off Nanaimo; a gray whale was in Saratoga Passage Tuesday; on Sunday a gray whale breached repeatedly off Edmonds, and luckily a photographer snapped some good ones of the airborne whale; and a humpback was photographed off West Seattle on Sunday.

Monday, February 10, nine orcas stranded and died on a remote beach on the south end of New Zealand. Dr. Ingrid Visser arrived on scene shortly after the discovery, and late Sunday sent this report:  

"Orca Research Trust, Iwi (local Maori tribes) and Department of Conservation were involved in the process of assessing the stranding and we collaborated in the removal of samples.

"We do not know the cause of the stranding.  There was no immediate indication that seismic testing was involved - there was no bleeding from the eyes, ears or anus - but we have recovered the heads so will endeavour to do more testing at a later stage. 

"I have to leave the country again today - but the samples are being stored and we will consult and look at what we can investigate when I return after WhaleFest etc.  We got skin, blubber and muscle from each animal, so will be able to look at relatedness, pod structure, population source, toxicology, stable isotopes and perhaps some other tests. 

"The orca were not individuals that I recognized - they are not in the catalogue that I can tell from the field.  They had multiple cookie cutter shark bites (all healed) and as cookie cutter sharks are not found as far south as where these orca stranded (but are found around New Zealand) these orca have at sometime traveled outside the area where they stranded.  All this info indicates that they are not likely to be coastal New Zealand orca.  So, the fact of where they come from remains a mystery at this stage, but it certainly is an intriguing part of the stranding event.

"Due to the remote location this was an extremely expensive event and the Orca Research Trust has had to cover the costs to get the samples out, so thanks so much for your donations -they are really helpful.  We had to get the samples out by helicopter and in a couple of instances managed to take out the whole skeleton - see attached.  This is unprecedented in New Zealand (and only in one event that I know of, where all the heads of the pod of orca recovered - that being in Japan!).  We were working long hours (5 am till midnight) each day - in order to get this much done, so you know that your support was put to good use!"

Best wishes


The videos from our Ways of Whales Workshop on January 25 are now posted HERE, including the warmup song by Dana Lyons, all but one of the talks and the panel discussion on how to bring back the salmon for So. Residents. Many thanks to Dick Snowberger for taping the presentations. 
Photo of the Day
J's and L87 off Kelp Reef, Haro Strait.
Photo by Capt. Jim Maya, February 16, 2014.
Southern Resident orcas
February 16
After receiving a report of killer whales sighted from an observant waterfront home owner in Victoria I got out on J pod and L087 resting and traveling north at 0900. I left them north bound at Kelp Reef at 11:30  moving slowly in two resting groups.
Mark Malleson
J pod north bound past Ten Mile Point  (east Victoria).
Photo by Mark Malleson, February 16, 2014.

February 16
I was headed down to Snug Harbor for an 11:00 short trip. The amazing Jeanne Hyde had just heard that Orcas had been sighted over near Kelp Reef. We all headed over toward Canada in heavy seas. I assumed they were Ts, but there were Js! Here are some images. Because of the heavy seas we couldn't stay with them for very long, but we think they were all there. We did see Granny and L87 for sure.
Capt. Jim Maya
J pod off Kelp Reef, Haro Strait.
Photo by Capt. Jim Maya, February 16, 2014.

J pod off Kelp Reef, Haro Strait.
Photo by Capt. Jim Maya, February 16, 2014.

The guys tend to pal around a lot.
Photo by Capt. Jim Maya, February 16, 2014.

J pod off Kelp Reef, Haro Strait.
Photo by Capt. Jim Maya, February 16, 2014.

J pod off Kelp Reef, Haro Strait.
Photo by Capt. Jim Maya, February 16, 2014.

February 10
I began hearing SRKW calls on Lime Kiln hydrophones at 4:24pm.  The calls were very faint, increased slightly in volume, and then faded off again.  Total time was apx 45 minutes.  I did not hear any calls on the Orca Sound hydrophones during that time. 
Jeanne Hyde, Whale of A Purpose blog
Transients/Bigg's killer whales
February 14
Killer Whales in Ladysmith  Harbor
Killer Whales in Ladysmith Harbor

Killer Whales in Ladysmith Harbor Vancouver Island Feb 14 2014 9 am. I was just filming the ships and a pod of Killer Whales showed up. I did not know that they were in the shot until I got home and started editing. Filmed 2 -3 miles away.
Andrew Waldegrave

February 13
We observed 8 Orcas heading south mid inlet from our shop at the old Bamberton Cement plant near Mill Bay (Saanich Inlet) around 3:30 pm. There seemed to be various sizes, young and old. They were a fair distance out so not much else to report. Took photos with my iphone but so small as to be barely visible.
James Harcourt

February 12
12:20 - Transient Orcas in Departure Bay (Nanaimo) right now closer to Newcastle Island. At least 4 animals with 1 sprouter.
Simon Pidcock

February 9
The orcas in this report were in the "Unknown" column:
10 am - about 30 whales - south end of Hornby Isle (40 miles NW of Nanaimo BC). Certainly no sea lions were in the water. They were all hauled out on Norris rocks. maybe nearly a thousand sea lions. At least 2 big males, maybe 5-6 little guys. whales were in small bunches, quite close together, lots of crisscrossing, sometimes submerged for extended time.
George Stonehouse
Dave Ellifrit: looks like picture 2 is T102 and picture 4 is T101A
Mark Malleson: ...the bull looks like T102 so likely the T101's (mom and 3 sons). 

February 9
There were a large group 25-30 orca in Lambert channel Hornby Island. They appeared to be transient animals. Some of our guests got photos of the group.
Rob Zielinski
Coastal/Global orcas
February 11
1:45 - Real time report from Tom Argyle from a boat 1.5 off the coast just south of Brookings OR, where 8-10 orcas are breaching and splashing around. No photos.
Gray whales
February 11
Humpback or Gray East of Port Angeles. While putting away the laundry a humpback or a gray whale breached approx. 1/2 mile west of Green Point and 1/4 mile offshore. The single whale then continued traveling west towards Port Angeles Harbor.
Tony Little

February 11
Tuesday 10:30AM. I am watching a whale progressing northbound in Saratoga Pass, in the center of the St, about in a line between Cama Beach on Camano and Greenbank/Hidden Beach on Whidbey. It is spouting about every 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 minutes. All that I can tell in the scope is that it is not an Orca. No visible tall fin. Last week we had a Grey pass by very near the shore. It was inside our mooring bouys.
Dick Schlueter

February 9
Craig Smith of Edmonds shot these photos Sunday afternoon on the beach below the Edmonds Senior center. "I was looking out across the sound and the whale breached very close to a docked ferry," Smith said. "He then swam south, giving the folks on the fishing pier a very good view of several more breaches."
Breaching gray whale near Edmonds.
Photo by Craig Smith, February 9, 2014.

Underside of lower jaw of a breaching gray whale near Edmonds.
Photo by Craig Smith, February 9, 2014.

2 pm - Saw a whale, feeding and breaching from our home on bluff just north of Lincoln Park. First cetacean spotting from our home (moved to neighborhood last spring) so super cool and exciting! some more info: whale was ~20-25ft long, much larger then the dall's porpoises.  dorsal fin was small and curved back, and placement was much further towards tail then orca. Dark colored on top with light belly...fin and body profile matched online photos and images.
Daniel Budiansky

Humpback seen off Lincoln Park, from West Seattle Blog.
Photo by Dennis Cheasebro, February 16, 2014.

Orca Network is a 501 c3 nonprofit organization, dedicated to raising awareness about the whales of the Pacific Northwest, and the importance of providing them healthy and safe habitats.

Orca Network's Whale Sighting Network involves citizens in helping researchers track the movement of whales, and encourages people to observe whales from their homes, businesses, ferries, and beaches.
Whale reports are sent in to our Sighting Network and emailed out to researchers, agencies, and citizens on our network, and posted on our website (MAP of sightings also on website). Whale reports and observations are sent in by a variety of sources, and Orca Network does not guarantee the accuracy of any report or whale identification.


TO REPORT WHALES, CALL: 1-866-ORCANET (1-866-672-2638), email, or post sightings on our Orca Network Facebook page.



 "The new rules prohibit vessels from approaching any killer whale closer than 200 yards and forbid vessels from intercepting a whale or positioning the vessel in its path. This doubles the current approach distance of 100 yards. The rules go into effect May 16 and apply to all types of boats, including motor boats, sail boats and kayaks, in Washington"


For more information on the new Federal Regulations, visit the NOAA Fisheries website


To report harassment of whales in US waters
, call NOAA Enforcement: 1-800-853-1964;

In Canadian waters, call DFO's Observe Record and Report (ORR) Violations Hotline: 1-800- 465-4336

Report the boat name &/or a description of the boat, & get photos if at all possible.