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Orca Network 

Whale Sighting Report  

In This Issue
Photo of the Day
Southern Residents.
Transients/Bigg's Killer Whales
Coastal Orcas
Humpbacks
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 

   DeathatSeaWorld


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orca Lolita/Tokitae,

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

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August 11, 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.
Large groups of Residents have appeared around the San Juans and the Gulf Islands lately. The entire J pod was there intact, rather than just a few matrilines at a time, as has often been the case this year and for the past few years.

Transients/Bigg's whales have also been in evidence in generally the same waters but at different times from the Residents.

Humpbacks are also around typically every day south of Victoria and occasionally anywhere else. The Puget Sound humpbacks finally left, probably August 6.

If you're out in a boat of any kind and find yourself near of any of these whales, please be conscious of showing courtesy and respect by operating slowly and cautiously, without interfering with normal orca behavior. Please observe the 200 yard minimum distance, avoid getting in their path, and reduce the boat's noise in the water by going slow and not abruptly accelerating. J2 Granny would surely appreciate that.
Photo of the Day
August 10
Much of L pod this afternoon near East Point.
Photo by Katie Jones.

Southern Residents

August 11
10:00am - orcas on lime kiln's hydrophone. sounds like L pod.
Amanda Stabler Fitzgerald

August 10
J49 behind the veil of his grandmother's exhalation.
Photo by Tasli Shaw.

August 10
J2 "Granny" with J6 "Mike" (L87 "Onyx" and J42 "Echo" in the rear) and the majestic view of Burnaby, Surrey and Tswassen in the background.
Photo by Tasli Shaw.

August 10
Here are a few of the 26 whales ..
J2 "Granny", J40 "Suttles", J19 "Shachi", J27 "Blackberry", J38 "Cookie."
Photo by Tasli Shaw.

August 10
J26 "Mike" peeks above the surface ... at least 100 sporties out there, the whales just breezed past.
Photo by Tasli Shaw.

August 10
J32 "Rhapsody" and her sort-of-adoptive brother J34 "Doublestuf" and J2 with her sort-of-maybe adopted son L87 "Onyx."
Photo by Tasli Shaw.

August 10
J37 "Hyshqa" and her mother J14 "Samish."
Photo by Tasli Shaw.

August 10
J32 "Rhapsody" and J34 "Doublestuf" were pretty tight the whole day.
Photo by Tasli Shaw.

August 10
J36 "Alki" blows a nice rainbow.
Photo by Tasli Shaw.

August 10
Between 2-3 pm - L pod sightings. Mega, Mystery, Calypso with Cousteau, Maisha with Joy and Ocean Sun (according to Island Adventure crew) on the South-Western part of San Juan Island. Appeared to be feeding. I wished Lolita was with them. Hope that time is coming.
Zita Fekete

August 10
A mind-blowing closeup: Tika K33 of the Southern Resident Killer Whales surfaced so close to me at Lime Kiln State Park that I could scarcely fit him into my lens! This photo is uncropped. Tika (born 2001) is a teenager now, and his sprouting dorsal fin is taller than it appears here -- he was flexing his fin as he surfaced.
Photo by Meg McDonald, Wild Northwest Beauty Photography.

August 10
Today near Point Roberts with J pod.....predation events all over the place!!! First watching them taking down a chinook salmon and THEN J36 and J41 spent over 45 minutes harassing a harbour porpoise. J42 joined in about halfway through the encounter also. So unbelievable to watch these residents throw around, carry around and slap the helpless porpoise.
Gary Sutton, Wild Whales Vancouver

August 10
There is the ferry terminal lineup!
Photo by Gary Sutton. 

August 10
Pushing around a Chinook.
Photo by Gary Sutton.

August 10
So it's pretty rare to see a Transient/Biggs killer whale taking down a porpoise BUT even more rare to see a Resident killer whale doing it!! J36, J41 and J42 spent about 45 minutes harassing this porpoise!
Photo by Gary Sutton. 

August 10
The porpoise is about to be grabbed.
Photo by Gary Sutton.

August 10
Orca behaviors. Tail lobs, tail slaps, cartwheels, pec waves, breaches. I managed to miss all of the many spy hops. No trainers, concrete tank walls or collapsed dorsal fins in sight.
James Gresham
Photo by James Gresham.

August 10

Photo by James Gresham.

August 10
Photo by James Gresham.

August 10
Photo by James Gresham.

August 10
Photo by James Gresham.

August 10
1:31pm - Whales on LK hydrophones now!!!!!! Get out your listening ears, listen to Orca Sound!
Sherry Joyner

August 9
We caught up with the Resident orca near Vancouver BC. They were headed back to the west towards the Canadian islands and we basically sat and let them stream by us. We saw members of all 3 pods, mostly J's and K's and they were going off. Breaches, cartwheels, spy hops, pec slaps, tail slaps and throws all around us. Several J pod whales made very close approaches.

August 9
J27 Blackberry at ultra close range today. Uncropped. Being that close to a wild, adult male orca is a breathtaking thing. He popped up right next to us then turned and passed no more than 3 feet from the stern under water.
Photo by James Gresham.
August 9
11:15 AM - a single male killer whale was about 20 feet off shore going west. It was really foggy so I don't know if there were more whales.
Vincenz Eberl

August 8
A resident orca waves a pec fin at his admirers at Lime Kiln Point State Park.
Photo by Bob Bussman.

August 8
A two part whale parade -- the first group in a resting line, travelling quickly. The second group went through more slowly. A treat!
Photo by Karoline Cullen.

August 8
Photo by Karoline Cullen.

August 8
Photo by Karoline Cullen.

August 8
Photo by Karoline Cullen.

August 8
K33 Tika cruising!
Photo by Gary Sutton.

August 8
K pod making way!
Photo by Gary Sutton.

August 8
K22 with a piece of something red and fleshy in her mouth.......sockeye????
Photo by Gary Sutton.

August 8
Orcas that we saw off of Lime Kiln and San Juan county park on 8/8/14. We were staying far away and the pictures aren't the greatest.
Photo by Jennifer Farley.

August 8
Photo by Jennifer Farley.

August 8
6:04pm - Not sure who it is but it sounds like orcas and echolocation clicks going on off the Lime Kiln Point hydrophone.
Devin Scott Doss

August 8
4pm-ish - My wife and and I spotted a pod of we think 4-6 from our boat, just off of San Juan Island at Bellevue Point. They were heading south. 4 were forward of us about mile between us and the shore. I would estimate these 4 were about mile off shore. We were stopped and taking in the sights when no sooner did we hear the unmistakable sound of blowholes astern of us and sure enough, two more orca were only 100 yards away  By the time we were out of the shock of this sight, we did get an iphone picture of one of the orca, however, it is grainy at best. Just incredible!
Tom Bartolomei

August 8
751AM - Whales on Lime Kiln hydrophone.
Jack Collins

August 8
7:51 am - J pod on Lime Kiln hydro.
James Gresham

August 8
7:48 - J pod calls and echolocation on Lime Kiln!
Alisa Lemire Brooks

August 7
7:45pm - Several J pod members at Lime Kiln today, including Blackberry, put on a long show with breaches, tail slaps, spy hop, and more. Breathtaking!
Kristina Louise Dahl

August 7
We started out with a long trip up to East Point on Saturna Island to catch up with the residents. J's and K's returned this morning and boogied up Haro Strait. They kept going and will probably spend the night in Vancouver. The "left overs," including K21 Cappuccino, stuck around southern San Juan instead of going north with the others.
Jennifer Dickson, Prince of Whales Whale Watch

August 7
Around 7pm - 4-5 orcas passed the mouth of Rolf Bay on Matia Island, they frolicked all the way to Sucia before loosing sight of them. They were playing but traveling very fast.
Thomas Stanton

August 7
5:39am - Orcas moving slowly northward passing San Juan County Park; 15 or more closely together and a few more trailing behind.
Isabelle Martin
Transients/Bigg's Whales
August 10
I was with two group's of Bigg's Killer Whales today. I'm not sure who this is, but look at the fresh wounds just ahead of the pec fin. I guess that happens occasionally when your food has pretty good sized teeth like a harbor seal! (T65a's and the T36b's).
Photo by Traci Walter.

August 10
Tonight Kim Neall Bruder and I (and Zoe) Jumped in the boat and headed out to Patos Island to photograph the Super moon against the light house and hopefully Mt. Baker depending on where it came up. We were hoping to catch all 3 together. As we arrived we noticed a boat to our left watching someone paddling a small boat along the rocks. I grabbed the binoculars and realized there was a pod of about 6 Transient whales swimming all around him. We headed over to watch. Not realizing this guy was in a small inflatable rowboat and surrounded by feeding Transients. Not my first choice of boats in that situation! As usual they did not have any concern with him but you can see from the pictures that he had to be a little nervous. Talk about a sitting duck! The Transients moved on from him and proceeded to circle the whole island searching every cove along the way for seals. We followed them around the whole island and ended right back where we started at the lighthouse just in time for the Moon. What an unexpected surprise. Anyway this is what we ended up with. it was a little tricky getting a good shot of the light house with the ripping currents. It sure was fun trying. Outside of the currents it was like a lake out there. Oh, what a night!
Karl Bruder

August 10
A guy in a small inflatable rowboat surrounded by feeding Transients.
Photo by Karl Bruder.

August 10
Keeping an eye on the feeding Transients.
Photo by Karl Bruder.

August 10
The Patos Island lighthouse at the north tip of the San Juan Islands, and some local inhabitants.
Photo by Karl Bruder.

August 10
Shadows and shapes in sandstone and orca at Patos Island.
Photo by Karl Bruder.

August 10
The evening light is especially artful.
Photo by Karl Bruder.

August 9
Yesterday's encounter with the T065A's - what an awesome family, they are indeed my favorite group of transients! They were hunting virtually all day, and although I know they need to hunt about 90% of their daylight hours, this still amazes me!
Heather MacIntyre

August 9
The T065A's appeared to pick something up and pursue it through the open water. They chased what I think to be a pinniped of some sort of Sidney Island, where they made a successful kill.
Photo by Heather MacIntyre.

August 9
Photo by Heather MacIntyre.

August 9
Look in T065A-4's mouth (on the left), it's holding part of their meal!! When I zoomed in, that was definitely flesh!!
Photo by Heather MacIntyre.

August 9
T065A-4 breaching!
Photo by Heather MacIntyre.

August 9
T065A in the front with the little calf that was born March of this year right in her slip stream.
Photo by Heather MacIntyre.

August 9
T065A in front, followed closely by T065A-5 (who's loosing her pink hue), with T065A-3 bringing up the rear.
Photo by Heather MacIntyre.

August 9
Transient killer whales T018s sighted today off Friday Harbor San Juan Island Washington.
Photo by Natasha MacDonald.

August 9
T19B swimming past some very nervous Harbor Seals. Scott from Deception Pass Tours picked up the T18s at Salmon Bank this morning. They spent most of the day cruising the shorelines of San Juan Channel harassing seals, and last we heard were up by Stuart Island this evening.
Photo by Ivan Reiff, Western Prince Whale Watch.

August 9
Photo by Ivan Reiff, Western Prince Whale Watch.


August 7
T34's, 37's and maybe the 99's today, Pea Pods in Rosario.
Photo by Capt. Hobbes Buchanan.

August 7
2:00 PM - 5:30 PM - Orcas south of Pt Lawrence, Orcas Is. 48 38 N, 122 45 W. 4 hours in Rosario St. We saw 7-12 (perhaps more) orcas today, apparently fishing cooperatively, from ~1:00 PM to 5 PM. Seen from south shore Orcas Is, east of Doe Bay. Whales first seen moving east towards Obstruction Pt from Pt Lawrence, in the channel north of the Peapod islands, sometimes coming in quite close to shore in Buoy Bay. Turned south along the east side of Obstruction Pt., headed south into the Rosario Strait, then turned back north towards South Peapod Is, fishing in the tidal lee of that island (east). Later moved east, in the channel south of the Peapods, but staying close to those rocks/islands, toward Lummi. Lost sight of them moving north around Pt. Lawrence. Many whale watching boats following along.
Appeared to be fishing cooperatively, herding fish against rocky steep shorelines before feeding at the surface, or herding fish in the tidal lee of south Peadpod Is. Lots of apparently purposeful tail slapping (once, ~ 6 consecutive slaps by one animal "standing" on its head), some breaching. Incoming tide was flowing strongly.
Frank Peale
Note: These were identified as mammal-eating Transients/Bigg's whales, so they were probably hunting seals.

August 7
Just found this page last night while searching for neat things in steilacoom, wa since we were going there today. We just PCS'd (Military Move) this year so forgive me I don't know lingo or the exact where abouts for a location but today around 3pm in Steilacoom, Wa I excitedly saw a group of Orca whales I thought they may have been a group of seals but I saw the black and white it was so majestic there were quite a few of them!!!
Oh wow my husband and kids and I counted 6 but it was a distance I definitely saw black and white as in an orca whale there is no way it could have been anything else I didnt know they traveled in such large groups that is why I was second guessing myself I only saw one that came up far enough out of the water to show black and white the others were closely grouped and we counted the humps going in and out of the water but they were pretty close together so it could have been the 7 reported the only pic I got is terrible but u can see a distinct line. As for the direction they were heading is kinda funny we saw them just appear in the middle then we saw them go right then circled back to the center and went straight towards whichever bridge is by Steilacoom u can see it from the peir 13 I think is the peir name the bridge may be the point defiance bridge? Sorry we dont know the area yet we are going back tomorrow I will get the exact location. I am still excited and giddy it was so beautiful! !
Alicia Schell McCready

August 7
It's hard being a harbor porpoise! Scenes from today at the north end of Haro Strait. T65As and T36As.
Photo by Capt. Jim Maya.

August 7
Photo by Capt. Jim Maya.

August 7
Photo by Capt. Jim Maya.

August 7
Photo by Capt. Jim Maya.

August 7
7 transient killer whales (the T36A's and the T65A's) attack a harbour porpoise in the most dramatic fashion. They threw it high in to the air, multiple times, all the while continuously breaching themselves!
Jennifer Dickson, Prince of Whales Whale Watch

August 6
T30A.
Photo by Traci Walter.
T30's and a BC Ferry with Saltspring Island, BC in the background.
Photo by Traci Walter.

Check out the fresh looking teeth marks on this female Killer Whale! Sometimes, the food bites back.
Photo by Traci Walter.

August 6
No residents around the last two days but we've been lucky enough to find transient killer whales yesterday and today AND they were two different groups. Yesterday was the T18's whereas the group that showed up today was the T30's. Skipper Mark Malleson spotted these guys before he was even on the water. Mark spotted killer whales in Oak Bay, while eating breakfast, from his house! The T30's travelled steadily north and by the later afternoon they were too far away for us. They probably continued up and will head towards Vancouver.
Jennifer Dickson, Prince of Whales Whale Watch

August 6
12:30 pm, off North Bluff, Greenbank, Saratoga Passage: Boating south between whidbey and camano islands had quite a show. Turned off engine and sat and watched for 20 minutes. Two were clearly mama and baby! Traveling south but paused to play.
Reported by Julie Alford.

August 6
1:30pm - Three orca. At CAMA BEACH (Camano Island). Headed south.
Shane Bishop

August 6
6:26am - 7 Orcas in Penn Cove!!
Kelly Zupich
Coastal Orcas
April 30
We saw a couple of killer whales today. There were at least two that appeared to be males. There could have been more. They weren't real close. They were at 46 42.00 n and 124 12.00 w. (Off Wilapa Bay, about 50 miles north of the Columbia River mouth). We saw them from 1330 - 1400. They were headed north but not too fast. Hope this is of some kind of help to you.
Paul Kujala. F/v cape windy forwarded by Brad Hanson, NWFSC.
Humpbacks
August 11
9:35 am - Not two but three humpbacks this morning. A mom and calf and and then a third one. Just another day in paradise.
Sandy Buckley

August 8
Humpback whales near Discovery Bay. We saw a blow and a single hump near the mouth of Discovery Bay. The pattern of the blows suggested perhaps a couple of whales traveling NNE. We think, based on the hump and blow, that they were humpbacks but we saw them from too great a distance to be sure.
Rick Floyd

August 6
6:48 pm - Humpback heading S off Me - kwa - mooks in W Seattle right now. Maybe heading SW towards Colvos...
Lauren Phillips

August 6
Every day it seems we get more humpbacks in to the area, mostly south of Victoria. All told we probably saw between 7 and 9 different humpbacks!
Jennifer Dickson, Prince of Whales Whale Watch

August 6
I saw several blows between the ferry lane and Everett while I was on the 5:05 crossing this morning. It seemed to be just one whale.
-Sharon Harper-Peck
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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.

 

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*BE WHALE WISE! BOATERS - NEW FEDERAL REGULATIONS IN EFFECT AS OF MAY 16, 2011:

 "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.