No calls but orcas nearby

Here at the lab we had an exciting morning. After a full day of rain yesterday we awoke to a growing south east wind and grey skies. Things were quiet until we heard Quin shout "ORCA". T075 and her son T075A passed by the lab heading south in Blackney Pass at 11:13am. Quin first spotted them from the guest house and we all gathered on the deck to follow them as they passed by close to the lab. They cleared from our view at 11:27am heading towards the Johnstone Strait. Jared Towers and Ely Durand were already out on the water awaiting their arrival at the south entrance of Blackney Pass. The whales headed east close by Cracroft Point and down towards the Baron Reefs likely in search of the seals that frequent the rocks during these low tides. Jared and Ely followed them as the continued east and left the pair heading past the Sophia's towards the West Cracrfot shoreline at around 12:15pm. Jared and Ely stopped by for a brief boat to shore chat but with the wind picking up didn't stop for long. He told us that these whales, T075 and T075A are usually seen in the waters off the southern end of Vancouver Island and also up in Alaska and that this is his first time he has ever seen this pair traveling in the Johnstone Strait. He assumed they usually use the west coast of Vancouver Island to transit between the two areas. We feel very lucky that we were able to witness them pass by the lab so close this morning.

Orcalab
24 May 2020 13:02:18 PDT



We just had a passing of orcas right in front of the lab! No calls.

Orcalab
24 May 2020 11:19:55 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

We have a group of Orca heading north in Backney Pass. No calls yet. A large group with at least three males! A very foggy morning but watch live on Orclaab base cam.https://explore.org/livecams/orcas/orcalab-base

Orcalab
17 May 2020 08:53:09 PDT



It now appears we have three Humpbacks and some dolphins in Blackney Pass heading south. Jigger, Twister and one other. Scroll back on Base cam and also Sealion rock to see some of the action! https://explore.org/livecams/orcas/orcalab-base

Orcalab
13 May 2020 14:23:23 PDT



More humpbacks! Jigger and Twister were seen this morning around 8:25am, heading south in Blackney Passage. We were a little unsure of their ID's but we have just seen them yet again heading north into Blackfish Sound. They gave us a lovely view of their flukes and dorsals which we could match to this morning's viewing. So wonderful to have the humpbacks returning. Many thanks to Jackie Hildering for the confirmation of their IDs, and to all the work of MERS for documenting these wonderful whales back in the summer feeding grounds.

Orcalab
13 May 2020 14:22:23 PDT



We are watching a Humpback close to shore on the sea lion camera. We haven't managed to identify the whale yet but tune in live here at:https://explore.org/livecams/orcas/orcalab-steller-sea-lion-haulout

Suze, Megan and Quin
11 May 2020 10:23:55 PDT



Performing maintenance

Live audio streaming is back! Many thanks to all involved in resolving the issue, Momoko Kobayashi, Seiji Inagaki, Jérémie and Quin.

OrcaLab
10 May 2020 12:03:24 PDT



Maintenance: We are currently experiencing some issues with our live stream. Please bear with us whilst we try and troubleshoot these problems and try and get things up and running again, THANKS!

Orcalab
08 May 2020 15:50:03 PDT



There is a Humpback whale calling on our Critical Point hydrophone. There is also terrible boat noise so we are not entirely shore if the whale is still calling.

Megan
30 Apr 2020 23:03:03 PDT



We're not entirely sure, but we have heard a few 'whoops' and 'squeaks' that sound like they could be Humpbacks!

Orcalab
29 Apr 2020 18:48:52 PDT



No orcas present.

The two humpbacks have stayed close by and are now on Parson cam milling in east Blackney Pass! We have confirmed them as Guardian and Nova. Thank you Jackie Hildering for confirmation of Nova's ID. Watch with us on this grey but whale-filled day: https://explore.org/livecams/orcas/orcalab-parson-island

Orcalab
29 Apr 2020 11:59:44 PDT



No orcas present.

We have two Humpback whales heading North in Blackney Pass. SUPER EXCITING TIMES, Watch live on Explore!

Orcalab
29 Apr 2020 11:59:18 PDT



Distant calls audible.

We are hearing Biggs calls on our Critical Point hydrophone, some Pacific white sided dolphins are also present.

Megan
23 Apr 2020 01:43:19 PDT



No orcas present.

This afternoon at 15:36 Megan first spotted some orca in Parsons Bay from the lab. At first we thought there was only one male and one smaller fin but soon discovered another larger male much closer to the lab with quite a recognizable fin. The whales cleared from our view heading north into Blackfish around at 15:47. After examining the photographs later we could ID two males as Biggs T019B and T019C. We also think that T018 and T019 were also present although we only managed to spot one smaller fin and it was too far away for a positive identification photograph. No vocals from the whales but with a beautiful flat calm day in Blackney Pass made fora really stunning encounter.

Quin, Suzie and Megan
21 Apr 2020 20:27:42 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

Orcas now in Blackney Pass! We have seen one male and one smaller fin, mid-channel in the glassy calm water. Watch with us: https://explore.org/livecams/orcas/orcalab-base

Orcalab
21 Apr 2020 15:41:49 PDT



No orcas present.

It's been quite the Bigg's week! We haven't had too many sightings out front of the lab, but we have received many reports from Jared Towers in Alert Bay almost each day, as more and more Bigg's travel up from the Salish Sea, through the Johnstone Strait and continue on their way west. Jared writes: "Every spring several groups of Bigg’s killer whales move north up the east side of Vancouver Island in what I call the Salish Sea exodus. It’s a little early this year but with 70 individuals documented swimming past the little island I live on and reports of over 20 others in the area all in the last 7 days, I think it’s the biggest departure yet. T087 here, the eldest male killer whale on record at 63 years of age, practiced a little social distancing when he went past..." In other news, we received a report from Nicole and Bunker that the A25s were seen at Hartley Bay (northern BC coast) on the morning of the 18th April. So great to get news of Northern Resident families over the winter and spring months.

Suzie, Quin and Megan
19 Apr 2020 22:11:59 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

We have Bigg's in Blackney Pass! Watch with us: https://explore.org/livecams/orcas/orcalab-base

OrcaLab
17 Apr 2020 15:57:21 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

Today is Suzie Halls 27th Birthday, Horrar! To celebrate this, Quin, Suzie and Megan took the Badarka (large three person kayak) out for its first spin in many many years. We headed over to white beach across from Orcalab and searched for sea glass and ate snacks in the sunshine. A little while after around 13:01 we received a report from Helena back in Alert Bay that there were Biggs calls. Lucky we had left a recording going but never the less we jumped into the boat and headed back to the lab. The calls were distant but trailed off into silence around 13:24 according to Helena. As usual assistants from all over the world had chimed in to listen from their computers! We are unsure of the location of the calls or which direction the whales were headed in but hopefully we will hear them again soon. Another exciting adventurous day in Blackney Pass. Happy Birthday to Suzie, Photos to follow soon!

Megan, Quin and Suzie.
16 Apr 2020 12:09:13 PDT



Distant calls audible.

Quin, Suzie and Megan spotted Bigg's Orca T068, T068A and others (7 in total) on their way to clean the Cracroft Point camera on this beautiful Easter Sunday evening. They were initially found at the entrance to Blackney pass and it looked like they were heading north towards the lab. They then turned around and headed back towards the Johnstone Strait and continued to head east as we left them to return home. Shortly after dark they began to vocalise on the Critical point hydrophone. The whales are still calling very distantly. A wonderful end to a beautiful Easter Sunday notably also due to our first Humpback Whale sighting! BCX0545's baby from last year. Looking much bigger and all on its own it was so special that during the beginning of spring, a time that celebrates new life this little whale was the first to be spotted of the 2020 season. Goodnight and stay safe everyone!

Megan Quin and Suzie
12 Apr 2020 22:46:32 PDT



No orcas present.

We just saw our first humpback since November back in Blackney Pass! Safe to say, all are ecstatic at the lab. He/she is milling and feeding and surfacing sporadically, but see if you can spot them on camera with us! Incidentally, it was Easter Sunday 1982 when Paul saw his first humpback back in the area following a 15 year absence, after they had been hunted to near extinction. What a day! Happy Easter everyone! https://explore.org/livecams/orcas/orcalab-base

Orcalab
12 Apr 2020 10:54:30 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

We have a group of slowly traveling Orcas in Blackney Pass, believed to be Biggs. Follow along on Explore https://explore.org/livecams/orcas/orcalab-base

Lab
04 Apr 2020 18:51:25 PDT



Good news! The audio stream is back.

OrcaLab
26 Mar 2020 10:08:53 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

Nice to know that life goes on. There were orcas in the Strait this morning. Jared saw them from his house in Alert Bay. They headed east. It is another beautiful day here as we get closer to the end of March. Spring already. All good, stay safe and well.

OrcaLab
25 Mar 2020 14:30:32 PDT



Performing maintenance

Unfortunately, we are experiencing difficulties with our audio stream. Thank you for your patience.

OrcaLab
24 Mar 2020 18:34:41 PDT



Distant calls audible.

We have Pacific White-Sided Dolphin chatter on CP!

Orcalab
21 Mar 2020 12:42:22 PDT



No orcas present.

We have a large group of Pacific White-Sided dolphins passing through Blackney. Watch them with us! https://explore.org/livecams/orcas/orcalab-steller-sea-lion-haulout

Orcalab
21 Mar 2020 12:33:07 PDT



There are calls on our Parson Island hydrophone right now! Listen in at http://www.orca-live.net/community/

Orcalab
13 Mar 2020 19:09:58 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

We heard very faint A calls from the house about 30 minutes ago, but by the time we got to the lab they had stopped. Haven't heard anything since... A couple of our hydrophones are out of the mix right now (the result of not enough sun!), so we know the calls were in Johnstone Strait and picked up by either our hydrophone at Cracroft Point or in the Ecological Reserve. Our most educated guess is that it could be the anticipated A42s who were last seen heading north off of Campbell River, a few days ago. However, we cannot say that with any certainty - we have learned never to make any assumptions of these whales! Listen out with us: www.orca-live.net

OrcaLab
06 Mar 2020 21:42:28 PST



No calls but orcas nearby

A group of Biggs have showed up in Blackney Pass! Watch live at: https://explore.org/livecams/orcas/orcalab-base

Orcalab
03 Mar 2020 08:38:45 PST



Superb sounds!!

Clear calls on Critical Point right now! We believe them to be Biggs. Beautiful. Listen with us: www.orca-live.net

OrcaLab
20 Feb 2020 01:10:49 PST



Another brief passing from Biggs today! We first spotted them mid channel in front of the lab at 2:54PM but they were elusive, only surfacing two or three times before clearing our view to the north at 3:42PM. Quite different to the feeding frenzy we had yesterday. We did however, capture some faint vocalisations on our local hydrophones. Jared Towers later confirmed that these were the T046B1s and the T123s.

Orcalab
18 Feb 2020 21:16:47 PST



No calls but orcas nearby

A group of Bigg's orcas in Blackney Pass going back and forth mid channel. http://explore.org/live-cams/player/orcalab-base

OrcaLab
17 Feb 2020 13:57:13 PST



No calls but orcas nearby

There are currently 4 Biggs orcas in Blackney Pass preying on Sea Lions! No vocalizations are heard. Watch it live on Explore.org! https://explore.org/livecams/orcas/orcalab-base

Orcalab
17 Feb 2020 13:49:23 PST



Distant calls audible.

Distant orca calls in the Johnstone Strait! We are unsure who it is yet - stay tuned...

OrcaLab
10 Feb 2020 16:15:12 PST



No calls but orcas nearby

We had a small group of Bigg's pass to the north at 12:13pm. The group consisted of 3 plus and adult male. When past the Lab only the male was seen once before he took a long dive and disappeared. These whales were first seen by the crew who were working on the sea lion system further south of the Lab. No time for pictures and they were silent as well.

OrcaLab
05 Feb 2020 14:41:02 PST



Distant calls audible.

The orcas turned and headed west. Looks like it is the A42s back!!!

OrcaLab
03 Feb 2020 15:23:09 PST



Distant calls audible.

The possible A34s turned and are now headed west off Cracroft Point. http://explore.org/live-cams/player/orcalab-cracroft-point-surface

OrcaLab
03 Feb 2020 14:39:41 PST



Superb sounds!!

Northern Residents back in Johnstone Strait right now. Not sure just who. This has been a lovely winter!

OrcaLab
03 Feb 2020 13:31:18 PST



Superb sounds!!

The A34s are back in Johnstone Strait! Calling now on our Cracroft Point hydrophone.

Orcalab
28 Jan 2020 00:24:02 PST



Superb sounds!!

Sooo pretty! The A34s travelled east in Johnstone Strait and are now off the Bight.

OrcaLab
26 Jan 2020 19:39:55 PST



Superb sounds!!

We have the A34s calling in Johnstone Strait! Beautiful, clear calls. Tune in with us!

Suzie
26 Jan 2020 17:13:26 PST



No orcas present.

The T46s travelled west in Johnstone Strait and past Alert Bay around 2pm today. Jim Borrowman saw them first when they were of Telegraph Cove and Gary Sutton kept watch for them as they neared Alert Bay where he was able to identify them from shore. Donna Mackay later reported that a group was headed north from Seymour Narrows around 4:30pm. A good effort from everyone!

OrcaLab
23 Jan 2020 21:39:04 PST



Distant calls audible.

Ah maybe now we will hear those Gs from yesterday. Incredibly distant in Blackfish Sound but occasionally audible. Listen carefully!

OrcaLab
21 Jan 2020 16:26:55 PST



No calls but orcas nearby

Summary for 20 January 2020 T002Cs What a Bigg day we had! The morning brought glorious sunshine and tropical temperatures of up to 13C (!) - a welcome change after the deep freeze of last week. Due to Jared Towers' report of the the G17s, G46s and I4s easting at Bere Point around 2pm, Suzie and Quin were keeping one eye and ear on Blackney Passage at all times in case they decided to pass in front of the lab. At 3:52pm, Suzie spotted the anticipated fins mid-channel headed south! They scrambled to their stations in the lab and managed to locate the group on base camera. There was one large male fin and around three smaller fins in view. They were expecting the Northern Resident groups, but this group made no calls and took deep dives, which are more characteristic of Bigg's orcas... They were fighting a strong ebbing current and at 3:57pm they had decided the fight wasn't worth it, and turned back north. The main group were cleared into Blackfish Sound by 4:05pm, and at 4:22pm Suzie caught sight of another fin deeper into Parson's Bay - yet another sign that they may be Biggs - and that individual was only seen twice before they lost the light. Our suspicions were confirmed as we looked to ID the group from our photos - it was the T002Cs! Many thanks to Jared for his help with the ID work. Just goes to show we must never make any assumptions, hey! Not the orcas we had expected to see, but a treat nonetheless! Now we wait to hear more from those Northern Residents, our eyes ever scanning the horizon...

OrcaLab
21 Jan 2020 13:49:06 PST



No calls but orcas nearby

Elusive! These orcas might be Bigg's orcas, deep dives, changing direction, no calls - stay tuned!

OrcaLab
20 Jan 2020 16:25:59 PST



No calls but orcas nearby

Northern Residents in Blackney Pass headed south. Earlier today we heard from Jared that the I04s, G17s,G46s were headed south in Queen Charlotte Strait off Bere Point at 2:45pm. https://explore.org/livecams/orcas/orcalab-base

OrcaLab
20 Jan 2020 15:49:05 PST



No orcas present.

Today we learned that the A42s finally came away from Georgia Strait. Jared Towers saw them westbound in Cormorant Channel around 10am. At the same time the G17s were seen westbound off Donegal Head. Alert Bay experienced a power outage through the night. When power came back at Noon these reports were a welcomed surprise! Thanks once again Jared and glad you could get pictures from shore rather having to go out in this stormy weather.

OrcaLab
18 Jan 2020 16:30:46 PST



No calls but orcas nearby

The orcas are going east in Johnstone Strait. We did find them on the CP cam. https://explore.org/livecams/orcas/orcalab-cracroft-point-surface Great waves right now in this winter storm!

OrcaLab
17 Jan 2020 16:28:07 PST



Superb sounds!!

The winter Gs have arrived! Susie began to hear calls a short while ago off the entrance to Blackney Pass in Johnstone Strait. Trying right now to find them on the cameras.

OrcaLab
17 Jan 2020 16:17:42 PST



Distant calls audible.

We hear calls in the Johnstone Strait!! Not sure who it is yet but keep on listening!

Quin
10 Jan 2020 11:11:21 PST