August 25, 2009


Residents and Transients

We saw resident and transient killer whales today! This almost never happens, transients avoid resident orcas, but today they were about 5 miles from each other. We went north, to Point Roberts. Here we watched resident orcas. We had heard these resident orcas were members of K-pod. As we watched these animals we noticed a big bull. We identified him by his saddle patch, this male was actually L-78, and we also saw L-2. L-2 is actually L-78’s mommy! Resident orcas have a very unique family structure, they never leave their moms.

On the way back, about 5 miles from where we left our resident orcas, we found transients. They we very close to the shore line of Patos Island. We even got to see a spy hop. This transient may have been looking for some seals. We watched and all noticed some of the subtle difference from resident to transient orcas. Transient orcas have a more pointed dorsal fin tip and seem to travel into smaller bays and closer to shore.

Remember our Southern Resident Orcas are an endangered species; anything you can do to help salmon will help the resident orcas, because that’s what they eat. “It’s all about the salmon”.

Always a great adventure with San Juan Safaris!

Naturalist Jeannette
Orca Whales and Wildlife Are Our Only Business. ©