August 24, 2009


There are two distinct types of orcas that frequent the San Juan Islands, transients and residents. Resident orcas are fish eaters and transients eat marine mammals. Today we saw transients, also known as T’s.

The T’s seem to specialize in pinnipeds. They behave differently than the resident orcas. They seem to travel in smaller numbers with usually about 3 to 4 animals. Travel more stealth like, vocalizing much less with an estimated 3 to 4 calls, especially when foraging. Some researchers believe they even control their breathing, so when they surface for a breath they do not alert their prey.

After viewing the orcas we took a little island and wildlife trip. It was beautiful! We saw marine birds, porpoises, seals and eagle nests.

Another great adventure with San Juan Safaris!

Naturalist Jeannette

Orca Whales and Wildlife Are Our Only Business. ©