Friday, April 24, 2015
April 12th - Bigg's Killer Whales
Today we traveled deep into the San Juan Island to have a wonderful encounter with Bigg’s Killer Whales, the TO49A’s. These Orcas had been spotted East of Shaw Island heading west in the morning but made very little progress throughout the day. By the time we headed out in the afternoon they were still a long way from Victoria but we were determined to show our passengers these Apex Predators. We arrived on scene between Orcas & Shaw Island and the Orcas looked like they were finishing up a kill, probably of a Harbor Seal, their favorite prey. They then began to move West along the shoreline of Shaw Island.
Bigg’s Killer Whales are another name for Transient Orcas and the name is on honour of Dr. Michael Bigg. Dr. Michael A. Bigg (1939–1990) was a Canadian Marine Biologist who is recognized as the founder of modern research on Killer Whales (Orcas). With his colleagues, he developed new techniques for studying killer whales and conducted the first population census of Orcas in the Pacific Northwest. Bigg’s work in wildlife photo-identification enabled the longitudinal study of individual killer whales, their travel patterns, and their social relationships in the wild, and revolutionized the study of Cetaceans.
Apart from the Orcas we also encountered Sea Lions at Kelp Reef and Harbor Seals at the Chain Islets. We also saw a large number of Bald Eagles at the Chain Islets.
It was a beautiful day on the water with a great group of enthusiastic passengers that were thrilled to see the Orcas and other wildlife!
You can see more images from this tour by clicking on the link below;
April 12th – Bigg’s Killer Whales