Orca Network 

Whale Sighting Report  

In This Issue
Photo of the Day
Transients/Bigg's killer whales
Coastal Orcas
Gray whales
Minke whales
Find a wide range of books related to orcas at the Orca Network Amazon store.
Orca Network recommends:
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  

 To learn more about orcas: 

Orcas in Our Midst, volume 3, by Howard Garrett

Orcas in Our Midst,

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

Click here  

to order YOUR copy!


The bestseller about orcas in captivity.

Death at SeaWorld, by David Kirby 


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orca Lolita/Tokitae,

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in 1970, somehow surviving in a small tank at the Miami Seaquarium ever since.

Tokitae looking up at us from her tank in Miami, FL in the late 1990s 

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May 3, 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.
Our Photo of the Day today shows J26, Mike, off the Russian River, about 50 miles north of San Francisco, on May 1. Members of K and L pods have been seen as far south as Monterey, California, but this is the first record of J pod off California. This sighting supports the case for declaring the coastal waters from Neah Bay to Point Reyes CA (20 miles south of the Russian River) as critical habitat for the endangered Southern Resident orcas.

The family of Transients called the T65As have been around lately with a new baby; white-sided dolphins have been around lately (check out the photos below), and a minke was seen off Partridge Point, Whidbey island, though there have probably been many others south of San Juan Island lately.

Who knew that rare glass sponge coral reefs, believed extinct for the past 40 million years, have been found all over the middle of Georgia Strait and off the south tip of Lopez Island? They provide habitat for benthic ecosystems and have now been protected from trawling and other threats after a sustained information campaign. This was one item of many talked about at the Salish Sea Conference in Seattle last week. The Orca/Salmon Workshop prior to the conference brought out more data and views on how to restore habitats for both, and reinforced the connections between the two species, as amply described in Scott Veirs' Beam Reach liveblog: Orca and salmon recovery workshop.
Photo of the Day
M. Beattie snapped a photo of what looks like Endangered Southern resident killer whale.
Jodi Smith, Naked Whale Research, May 1, 2014.
Note: this orca was subsequently identified as J26 Mike, which is the first report of J pod in California waters.
Transients/Bigg's killer whales
Awesome day on the water with social Bigg's!
The T65As in the Gulf of Georgia in flat calm conditions. This family of five is quite the joy to witness, they often appear boisterous at the surface (before, after, and especially during meal time). Today was no exception! They had made a sea lion kill earlier in the day and were carrying pieces of the carcass around, with the youngest, T65A5 (first seen this March) making excited bursts of speed around his/her siblings as they pushed and dragged pieces of the sea lion around. Mom (T65A) was ever so cool and lead her family west at a slow and leisurely pace, allowing her 4 children to dawdle along and socialize with one another.
Tasli Shaw
One of the juveniles, either T65a3-or T65a4, carries a piece of a sea lion.
Photo by Tasli Shaw, May 3, 2014.

One-month old T65a5 and mom T65a, born in 1986.
Photo by Tasli Shaw, May 3, 2014.

T65a3, T65a5, and T65a2.
Photo by Tasli Shaw, May 3, 2014.

T65a3, born in 2007.
Photo by Tasli Shaw, May 3, 2014.

T65a4, born in 2011.
Photo by Tasli Shaw, May 3, 2014.

Three year-old transient orca calf T65A4 this afternoon in the Strait of Georgia, seen while out with Western Prince Whale Watching & Wildlife Tours!
Photo by Monika Weiland, May 2, 2014.

Super fun day with the T65As off the south east side of Galiano Island. The kids were just "full of it" and it was great to catch a glimpse of new little baby, T65A5.
Photo by Katie Jones, May 2, 2014.

April 29
T69's, 4 animals, initially spotted at Schooner Cove near Long Beach, Tofino around noon. We encountered them aboard the Leviathan 2 with Jamie's Whaling Station close to Frank Island, Chesterman Beach. The orcas traveled from Frank Island close to shore giving all the hotels and resorts a good look, on to Duffin Cove at the entrance to Tofino harbour, round the offshore of Vargas Island and to Cleland Island where they were left at 18:00.  The animal gave a surprise breach close to their vessel, photo taken on cell phone - shows how close the activity happened!
Claire Mosley
T69C(?), the single mature bull of the T69s near Tofino. The animal gave a surprise breach close to their vessel, photo taken on cell phone - shows how close the activity happened!
Photo by Howie of the Whale Center, April 29, 2014.

April 28
A long one today but it was worth the ride to get my first look at T65A5! The 65As were coming east from Race Rocks as we headed down and caught up with them around Constance bank. They picked off a seal right as we got there and started the celebration.....breaches, spy that group.
Gary Sutton, Wild Whales Vancouver
T65A and T65A5.
Photo by Gary Sutton, April 28, 2014.

T65A and T65A5.
Photo by Gary Sutton, April 28, 2014.

April 28
Reposting this from Alex Shapiro: 5 Orcas passing Eagle Pt. (SW San Juan Island) Heading south at 8:15 pm.

The T065A's heading east off of Otter Pt. in the morning.
Photo by Mark Malleson, Prince of Whales, April 28, 2014.

April 22
Sighted a single orca in Elliott Bay (roughly off Smith Cove). Sighted from the Bainbridge ferry (9:40 AM departure) enroute to Seattle. New WSF 144 car ferry was also undergoing sea trials in vicinity (the M/V Tokitae).
Bruce Hutchison
Coastal Orcas

May 1
M. Beattie snapped a photo of what looks like Endangered Southern resident killer whale.
Jodi Smith, Naked Whale Research
Note: subsequently identified as J26, which is the first report of J pod in California waters.

April 29
Around 9:20am Jon received a call that 50 killer whales were heading West past Neah Bay. We got on the water and found them passing Tatoosh Island, heading Northwest. We stayed on the group for a couple hours and got photographs of many. There were about 4 or 5 smaller groups spread out over about a mile. Each smaller group was between 10-15 whales, for total of 50-70 whales. We thought there were at least 6 or 7 large males (some other sprouting) and about 7 calves. We are guessing these are Northern Residents - a couple of the males had slightly hooked dorsal fins and one looks similar to a male we saw from G pod several years ago.
Adrianne Akmajian, Marine Mammal Technician III, Makah Fisheries Management

April 26
Pictures of the orca seen at the Point Reyes Lighthouse from visitors, volunteers, and rangers! An incredibly rare sighting at the lighthouse - for the three+ years I have worked here, we have had warnings that orca were headed our way but have never seen them and caught them on camera! This is the second time an orca pod has been sighted since I started working.

Photo believed taken by Anela Marie Ramos of at least 11 orcas lined up side by side, apparently members of K pod and/or L pod.

April 21
Around 4:00 pm, about 10-20 killer whales were sighted heading West past Neah Bay. We were unable to get on the water to pursue.
Adrianne Akmajian
Gray whales
May 1
Good way to start the month of May on Mystic Sea with sunshine, blue skies and gray whales #723 and #49 (Patch) off Hat Island around 11:45 am.
Sandra Pollard, Naturalist on Mystic Sea Charters.

April 28
At Legion park Everett studying for mid term and been watching a gray whale blow closer to Jetty Everett side due east of Hat Island. Has been hanging there for the last hour.
Marilyn Armbruster

#49 Patch & Mukilteo Ferry.
Photo by Alisa Lemire Brooks, April 28, 2014.

#49 Patch.
Photo by Alisa Lemire Brooks, April 28, 2014.

#723 barnacle encrusted head/blow hole.
Photo by Alisa Lemire Brooks, April 28, 2014.

#49 Patch and #723 side by side.
Photo by Alisa Lemire Brooks, April 28, 2014.

Photo by Alisa Lemire Brooks, April 28, 2014.

#49 Patch.
Photo by Alisa Lemire Brooks, April 28, 2014.

April 27
3:52 - We have whales! Two grays between Hat Island and Everett, yay!!
Orca Network
What a fun fundraising whale cruise today with Orca Network, aboard the Mystic Sea. We even found some gray whales - off in the distance, AND dodged the rain showers.
Photo by Jill Hein, April 27, 2014.

April 25
1 grey just east of Shipwreck point Friday afternoon, 2 Grey's this morning between Chito beach resort and shipwreck point (between Seiku and Neah Bay). Slowly going back and forth between the two. Been here for over an hour now. Will try and get photos.
Amy Cramer
Minke whale
April 30
8:30 pm....lone Minke between Pt. Partridge and Ebey's Landing slowly heading south with spectacular sunset.
Al Luneman
Pacific White-sided dolphins
April 29
This is about the last thing I expected us to find on our trip today...but HEY! We'll take it! About 12 Pacific white-sided dolphins were lolly-gagging in between Sentinel Island and Spieden Island this afternoon. Icing on the cake!
Photo by Katie Jones, April 28, 2014.

Lags! Thanks to Western Prince for finding the Lags this afternoon! Lags? Lagenorhynchus obliquidens! Lags! Pacific white-sided dolphins! West side of Speiden Channel.
Photo by James Mead Maya, April 28, 2014.

Photo by James Mead Maya, April 28, 2014.

Photo by James Mead Maya, April 28, 2014.

Photo by James Mead Maya, April 28, 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.