Orca Network Whale Sighting Report  

In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Photo of the Day
Transients in Haro Strait December 19
California transients December 9, 10, 11
December 17 Costa Rica report.


Events & Issues


Save the Date: Join us for Ways of Whales, Saturday January 28th, at Camp Casey near the ferry terminal in Coupeville.

Check it out -

now available! 

Orcas in Our Midst, volume 3, by Howard Garrett

Orcas in Our Midst,

Vol. 3: Residents and Transients, How Did That Happen?

$8 retail, $4 for 10+, volume & non-profit discounts available

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to order YOUR copy!


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

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We are watching and visiting the whales in their home~                                         December 20, 2011

Please observe, love and respect them from a distance.

Big news! It's been kept quiet to make sure all parties confirmed, but NOAA's NW Fisheries Science Center and the Center for Whale Research have confirmed that on December 17, 39-year old J16 (Slick) gave birth to a new baby calf in Puget Sound, probably only a few hours judging from the fresh fetal folds, before being seen and photographed by veteran field researcher Candice Emmons of NWSFC. This makes J16's fifth calf since her first, J26, was born in 1991. She was the sixteenth J pod orca photographed and identified by Mike Bigg in 1972, and is among the oldest whose age is known exactly. Her matriline is known as the J7's after J16's late mother. Photos of the family can be found by scrolling down the Center for Whale Research matriline guide.

Alisa Schulman-Janiger is still sorting photos and videos from the visits of mammal-eating transient orcas to Southern California December 9, 10, and 11, and sends links to blogs and videos of the event, along with some great ID photos.

Registration is now open for Orca Network's annual Ways of Whales Workshop will take place January 28 in Coupeville with a sterling lineup of speakers on whale-related topics.

There's still time to find that last-minute the Orca Network Web Shop for Christmas gifts that will be shipped within 24 hours, like jewelry, Orca Network baseball caps, cards, books, CDs and DVDs, and many other intriguing items with an orca theme, plus you can help us send out these whale reports by purchasing an Orca Network membership.

Howard Garrett

Susan Berta

Orca Network  

Photo of the Day
J16 Slick with her new baby calf J48 and her 2007 daughter J42.
Photo by Candice Emmons, NWFSC, December 17, 2011.
Taken under NOAA permit #781182400.

Transients in Haro Strait December 19
 December 19  
We had an encounter on Jim Maya's boat with the T49As and T49Bs near Kelp Reef where they did kill one harbor seal.
Dave Ellifrit

December 19
T49a's and T49b's...... Along with T49c !!!!!!
Jeff Lamarche

December 19
1:24pm - 10 transients off Victoria. Got the report from jeff Lamarche.
Josh McInnes

December 19
12:00 noon - Just got calls from Jeanne Hyde & Jim Maya---Transients off the west side heading north!!!
John Boyd

December 19
At 11:15 a.m. I was watching a transient adult male about 100 feet from shore, I believe. Of course I'll post the whole story on my blog.
Jeanne Hyde

December 19
07:16 - faint transient calls.
Jeanne Hyde

December 18
4-5 pm ish - Whales!! @ Orcas Island Ferry Terminal.
Kathryn Wunnicke

December 18
Saw orcas at the North end of San Juan channel today at noon.
Rick Plath

December 18
At least a half-dozen orcas today at Pt. Caution, northwest of Friday Harbor ... heading Northwest up San Juan Channel at 11:10am on Sunday, December 18.  One baby.  One spy-hop!
Kevin Hillstrom

December 18
05:07 - clear J Pod calls, though faint, beginning on Lime Kiln hydrophones.
Jeanne Hyde

December 17
We saw two orca's right off Titlow Beach (off Tacoma) heading towards the Narrows Saturday Dec 17 @ about 9:00am. We thought possibly mamma and baby or teen due to the difference in their size. This sighting was a long time in coming and most overwhelming. As a result I was a little delayed in grabbing my cell phone and missed the window for pics!
Paige Van Der Vliet
California transients December 9, 10, 11

Alisa Schulman-Janiger writes: 

Here's some video links to the recent killer whale action. I can't think of any other time when we've had 3 consecutive days of transient reports locally! I'm still downloading my videos.


Check out Pete Thomas's blogs from last week. He wrote 2 killer whale stories including videos (baby orca vocalizing - Ventura; local killer whales off our census - Pt. Vicente); He also wrote a story on blue whales feeding off Washington - only the 3rd time in 50 years!

Killer whale links: 


9 Dec (Ventura)


10 Dec (LA-Pt. Vicente: ***our trip! By Phil Garner (in the other boat) 


11 Dec (Newport Beach): Killer Whale Charges Boat Newport Beach CA (He didn't REALLY charge the boat...)


Breaching Killer Whales Newport Beach CA


Killer Whales Newport Beach CA 12/11/2011


Happy holiday season!


California T CA51B near Point Vicente CA.
Photo by Alisa Schulman-Janiger, December 10, 2011

CA51s off Point Vicente CA.
Photo by Alisa Schulman-Janiger, December 10, 2011 
December 17 Costa Rica report
December 17
We are in Tambor Costa Rica, on the Bay of Nicoya, and saw a group of 2 or 3 large whales spy hopping and jumping yesterday.  We were on the beach, so too far to tell type, but probably humpbacks?  It was fun to see the blows and see them splashing!
Sue & Marty McDaniel
Orca Network is a 501 c3 nonprofit organization, dedicated to raising awareness about the whales of the Pacific Northwest, and the importance of providing them healthy and safe habitats.

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.


TO REPORT WHALES, CALL: 1-866-ORCANET (1-866-ORCANET), email, or post sightings on our Orca Network Facebook page.


 "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.