August 2, 2019

T65As Hunting in the Strait of Georgia!

Piper | Friday, August 2, 2019 | M/V Sea Lion | 5:30 PM

Heading out on our second tour for the day, Captain Gabe and I took some awesome people out into the Salish Sea! We left the marina in Friday Harbor and hung a left, up San Juan Channel and towards the north. We passed by a channel marker not too far from the harbor upon which sat a bald eagle! I’m certain he was using that post to scope out his next meal! We continued northeast through President Channel and up past Sucia Island toward Alden Bank where the T65As (minus T65A2) had been spending their afternoon chomping on marine mammals!

This family of Bigg’s killer whales are well known here in the Salish Sea. They’ve been spending a wonderful amount of time here and us naturalists have been able to see the littlest one, T65A6 growing up (and she’s doing it too fast if you ask me!).

Tonight, we watched as this family hunted down what we believe to be a porpoise, from the swift movements and chases to the corralling of the animal by splitting up and surrounding it! What an awesome sight! It’s always a blast to get to watch these massive animals hunt; Bigg’s killer whales are most often very quiet at the surface, but sometimes when they’re after prey we’ll get to see some splashing about, and we were treated with that tonight!

After a while we headed back to the marina, catching glimpses of harbor porpoises and also getting to see that very same bald eagle perched in the very same spot on that channel marker! Apparently yet unsuccessful in his hunt for his next meal – unlike the orcas!