Yesterday morning we got report from Donna MacKay of five orcas heading from Stubbs Island to Plumper Islands and around 8.15 towards Johnston Strait. This group turned and continued west toward Alert Bay. Later that day (12.40) another report from Donna that the Bigg's orca were now on the west side of Haddington Island. They passed by Port McNeill 5 minutes later (James H.). These were the T069D (ID by Bill MacKay). It's been very quiet for the last three days and nights at the lab we are patiently waiting for Northern Residents to come back. In the meantime Humpback whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins, Dall's porpoises and even River otters are keeping us company.

TJasa@OrcaLab
19 Jul 2019 09:02:28 PDT



No orcas present.

It has been another action packed night and early morning here at OrcaLab! We began hearing distant calls off of Flower Island at 3:04 am and continued to hear them until 4:05 am. The lab then received a report from Jim Borrowman at 6:45 am, letting us know that a pod that of six to seven Orca and one male (which we believe are the A30's and 61) spent time in Telegraph Cove, crossed to Stephenson Island and headed north through Weynton Passage on a five knot ebb. This report helped us piece together the movement of the Orca, because at around 7:02 am we began hearing their calls on our Flower Island hydrophone once again. The calls disappeared around 8:30 am, but we are prepared and ready to hear their beautiful sounds again soon!

Orcalab
15 Jul 2019 12:33:26 PDT



Distant calls audible.

Distant calls (A clan) on Flower Island hydrophone. After last call around 21:00 they decided to become vocal again in the middle of the night :)

Chenyue and TJ
15 Jul 2019 03:30:27 PDT



Distant calls audible.

Distant calls from the A30s on Flower Island. They were vocal for a few minutes and have quieted down now, but we're hoping they'll start their chatter again soon!

Orcalab
14 Jul 2019 20:34:22 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

The A30s have returned! They just finished passing through Blackney Pass. They finished foraging at Cracroft Point and TJ spotted them on the Parson Island camera. They weren't vocal, so it was a pleasant surprise to see that they were turning around and visiting us again. They were spotted entering the gap by Emily at 1:00PM. They made their way across from Gab's rock to the South Edge of Parson Island where they continued to fight their way North against the current. There were at least ten individuals counted this time, three more than this morning. They were all traveling together with one matured male and nine females/juveniles. We were able to identify one of the individuals, Bend (A72) by the unique nick on the front of her dorsal fin. This confirmed that it was the A30 group. They exited the pass at 1:54PM and are now foraging off of Flower Island. Still no calls, but we are listening!

Orcalab
14 Jul 2019 14:07:32 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

We also got report from JT, Bigg's orca T030Bs, T117B and T172 were just west of Little Kaikash westbound. Thanks JT

Orcalab
14 Jul 2019 12:18:36 PDT



Superb sounds!!

Our wishes came true and the A30s came down through Blackney Pass at 11:02am! They continued to be very vocal and even gave us a show with breaching and some excited calls - we think they were enjoying a 'playful' afternoon. There were two separate groups, with at least six females/juveniles and one male in total. They were moving fast and headed South from turtle rock through the pass. The two groups merged into one at White Beach Pass and they were later split by a tug boat. The A30s left Blackney a bit spread out with the females leading and the male leaving last. They reached Cracroft Point by 11:32am! Now we are observing some foraging behaviour, along with the occasional 'fluke wave'. We are continuing to watch and listen! - From a very excited Lab!

Orcalab
14 Jul 2019 11:59:54 PDT



Distant calls audible.

A30s are keeping us busy all morning since we first heard them at 4.00 am on Flower Island hydrophone. They were vocal until around 7.15 am when calls became closer and louder but after that it was silent until 8:45 am when they became vocal again on Flower Island. We can still hear distant calls and echolocation, hopefully they decide to come down to Blackney pass today.

TJ@OrcaLab
14 Jul 2019 09:43:32 PDT



No orcas present.

The A30's havent been in our hydrophone range all day. We heard some broken radio reports throughout the morning of their movements around the mouth of Knight inlet and the Ageria Shoal before midday. At 14:30 Marley with Farewell Harbour reported the A30's and A61 at Lizard point heading west. They were dispersed in a large area but at 15:30pm they grouped up and continued to the west. At 17:52pm Kate reported that the whales had rounded Malcolm Point still heading west. At 18:17pm they were still foraging a couple of miles west of Malcolm Point. Maybe they are waiting for the flood tide to come back down to the east. We shall see what the night brings.

Megan
13 Jul 2019 20:40:48 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

The A30's decided to stick around in Blackfish sound. We began to hear their calls again around 23:15pm on Flower Island. They were sporadicly chatting and there was some nice echolocation close to the hydrophone until around midnight when the calls became distant. We stopped recording around 01:00am. It was quiet up until around 07:45am when we heard a single loud excited call on Flower island. Shortly after we heard a few sporadic calls, enough to know that it was the A30's. They became quiet around 08:15am and we havent heard from them since.

Sophie and Chen
13 Jul 2019 10:22:10 PDT



No orcas present.

So the A30's spent a nice amount of time being vocal on the Flower island hydrophone and calls became louder and then quieter again. We had a report around 16:45 from JD on Tensing that he had spotted the whales at Bold head. They had no real direction at this point so we assumed they may be catching some fish. By 17:45 JD reported that he was leaving the whales as they were heading North from from Bold head. We hadn't heard any calls in a while and we stopped the recording at around 6pm. A nice busy day for us all here at the lab but i do hope the A30's come back with some more friends!

Megan
12 Jul 2019 18:13:43 PDT



Superb sounds!!

After a brief forage at the entrance to Blackney Pass the A30's and A61 decided to head to the west. At 13:15pm they were passing Telegraph Cove on the Vancouver Island side. We shortly later overheard on the radio that they headed into Beaver Cove. At 14:45 we started to hear calls on the Critical point hydrophone that was echoing to Cracroft point. By 14:52 the calls were becoming more steady and clear but by 15:00 they had stopped. However, by 16:00 we started picking up lots of calls on the Flower Island hydrophone. No sign of orca yet but we are waiting and listening..

The Lab
12 Jul 2019 16:34:03 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

The A30's are back! At around 7am this morning we had a report from Kate at Bare point that the orca just left the beaches spread out heading east. Their thoughts were the A30's plus maybe more. We began to hear A30 calls on the flower island hydrophone at 8:45am. They shortly went pretty quiet after that for a long time. At 10:18am there were faint calls on the local left hydrophone, then at 10:22 we heard calls again on the Flower island hydrophone. At 10:29 we had a report from the Columbia 3 that a group of 7 orcas were spread from the Swanson shoreline to the Hanson shoreline heading east one mile off of Flower island. We spotted the first group on the Sealion camera at 10:43am. They entered Blackney Pass into our view around 11am. The lead group was the A54's that were split into two groups that came together around Parsons light. A61 was on his own followed by the A50's including A72 and her baby. They cleared from Blackney pass around 11:24am and we spotted them on the Cracroft Point camera at 11:25 headed East. They formed one big group and then quickly split and began to forage. They are currently still foraging in the tide rip at the entrance to Blackney pass in the slack current. We shall see what happens now that the tide has turned to an ebb.

The Lab
12 Jul 2019 11:43:22 PDT



Orcas near mics.

After a short break, vocalizations are ringing in clear and loud off of Flower Island! Are we in for an exciting night?

Alicia and TJ
09 Jul 2019 22:44:15 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

We got our very first look at the A30s tonight as they made their way to the entrance of Blackney Pass and then headed north past the Lab. A54 led the way and she was followed by the A5os and the rest of the family. At the very rear came A61 and A85! Jenny@germany was absolutely right that A61 was travelling with the A30s when she spotted him as he travelled through Robson Bight. Strangely, there have been no A5 calls yesterday or today that we are aware of. The whales certainly had lots of attention as the travelled through tonight , from whale watchers, dolphins and humpbacks alike. The humpbacks were vocal too.

OrcaLab
09 Jul 2019 20:31:52 PDT



Great news part of the A30s are on their way back from the east traveling west from the Bight. Just a few calls, we are ready!!

Janie
09 Jul 2019 16:48:59 PDT



No orcas present.

The A30's continued past Critical Point heading east, The lead group came in close to the shoreline at the rubbing beaches but decided against a rub and continued east. The trailing group headed out in the same direction shortly after mid strait. The current has now turned back to a flood so fingers crossed they decide not to fight the current and turn back to the west. What a fantastic way to get the summer into gear listening to one of our most beloved matrilines.

Megan and Alicia
08 Jul 2019 12:06:51 PDT



Superb sounds!!

Well... good surprise this morning! The A30s have arrived! Currently they are in the Reserve heading east. We saw them on the Robson Bight camera and listened to their lovely calls. After a night of solid boat noise this was a treat. So despite the fog there was great excitement with this arrival. We are waiting to see if they go into the Main rubbing beach. Watch on https://explore.org/livecams/orcas/orcalab-rubbing-beach

OrcaLab
08 Jul 2019 10:37:06 PDT



No orcas present.

For us it was a surprisingly quiet night (except for the boat noise of course).The day started with welcomed rain and very misty conditions. We learned after a while that northern resident orcas were seen back in Queen Charlotte Strait headed away from the area. Sigh, over before it has begun! The day is still young so we will wait and see. Hopefully, their reception, if they choose to return, will be calm and respectful.

OrcaLab
07 Jul 2019 10:22:00 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

Further to the last note: these are the A35s and the A73s.

OrcaLab
06 Jul 2019 21:56:03 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

Pretty quiet! We think they are still headed east at the moment but the tide is ebbing now and the evening light is fading. Not much to go on but we are hoping they will eventually become vocal again. Last heard calls at 8:30pm.

OrcaLab
06 Jul 2019 21:53:31 PDT



Distant calls audible.

Lots of boat noise but we can finally hear them @CRPT.

Orcalab
06 Jul 2019 19:58:49 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

Northern Residents (A4 pod) went through Weyton passage and are in Johnston Straight now.

OrcaLab
06 Jul 2019 19:44:04 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

So... we understood that the whales may have turned to the west earlier. But just ashort while ago we heard that there are whales at Donegal Head! This is giving us lots of practice starting and end ing recordings.

Orcalab
06 Jul 2019 18:36:38 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

Orcas have turned around and have started to head West.

Orcalab
06 Jul 2019 17:13:02 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

Northern Residents are in the house! We have received a report from Kate that the A35s (possibly the A73s as well) are in Queen Charlotte Strait headed east quickly on this flooding tide. They left Bere Point after a rub at 2:40pm. We are listening, we are watching!!!!

Orcalab
06 Jul 2019 17:05:21 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

The T46C's have been sighted again around 6pm in Arrow Pass heading towards the mainland. Thanks to JD for the report.

Megan and TJ
04 Jul 2019 18:14:55 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

Apparently the T46Cs (who have been around recently) were the group in Blackfish Sound. Thank you JD for the report. They travelled from Weynton Passage towards Bold Head and later (7pm) headed towards Knight Inlet.

Orcalab
03 Jul 2019 21:36:24 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

We just received a delayed report of a small group of orcas in Blackfish Sound this afternoon. Unfortunately we missed the discussion of the radio earlier.

Orcalab
03 Jul 2019 21:31:50 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

Bigg's orca in Blackney Pass, heading towards CP.

TJasa@OrcaLab
28 Jun 2019 17:52:17 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

On the 26th of June our new volunteer Sonia took a photos of two humpbacks swimming together in front of Orcalab. It turned out it was the return of Claw and her calf! Such an interesting story posted by Jackie Hildering (MERS) on FB: "There's a new baby amongst us - the second known Humpback calf in the area from Campbell River to Port Hardy to date. Imagine the journey. Born as far away as Mexico or Hawaii. Mother Claw (BCY0749) losing up to 50% of her body mass nursing her new calf and undertaking the long journey back to the feeding grounds with all the hazards along the way (we know Claw has been entangled at least once). Then, finally back to where Claw has so often fed since 2011, when we first documented her here, and where she also brought a calf in 2016. Back to feed and teach her calf how to do so too. Mother and calf first documented by the team at OrcaLab, from land on June 26th." Thank you, Jackie! They are hanging around for few days now. Also T046Cs were back this morning, seen off Bold Head heading east. Thanks Jared! :)

TJasa@OrcaLab
28 Jun 2019 12:27:11 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

Long time (about a week) no see, T046Cs! :) They've been seen by Stubbs Island around 12:30 pm, headed towards Donegal Head and are now around Telegraph Cove. Thanks to Jared T. for the ID and James H. for the updates.

TJasa@OrcaLab
27 Jun 2019 14:47:43 PDT



No orcas present.

Thanks to Ivan P. Dubinsky who spotted Orcas (North residents) at Scarlett Point yesterday in the afternoon, we know Springer (A73) and A35s were close!

TJasa@OrcaLab
22 Jun 2019 11:06:50 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

After they spent two days around here and left on Friday evening, Bigg's orca TO46C are back in front of our lab.

TJasa@OrcaLab
16 Jun 2019 08:13:19 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

Pacific white sided dolphins @orcalab cam now

TJasa@OrcaLab
14 Jun 2019 10:38:23 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

Bigg's orcas T046C were here all evening yesterday and they are back or still here in Blackfish Sound.

TJasa@OrcaLab
14 Jun 2019 08:54:47 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

Same transients, TO46Cs (JT) have been around all day, back and forward from CP to Blackfish Sound. They were passing by at least six times and are heading to CP right now :) Beautiful evening!

TJasa@OrcaLab
13 Jun 2019 21:13:38 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

They turned around somewhere around Flower Island, came by Orcalab again and are @CP now.

TJasa@OrcaLab
13 Jun 2019 14:19:26 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

Orcas in front of the lab, heading North

TJasa@OrcaLab
13 Jun 2019 13:14:39 PDT



No orcas present.

Yesterday we had Stitch (born 2013) and possibly Google (born 2016), siblings hanging around between Compton and Parson Island all evening. That would be the first sighting of Google for 2019 but we don't know for sure yet! Thanks Jackie for ID. Later that night just before midnight distant calls (orca) on Flower Island for about 5 min. Today was pretty quiet day but we had one humpback passing by and vocalizing (Parson Island) for a short period of time. Lots of boat noise at that time too.

TJasa@OrcaLab
12 Jun 2019 23:54:10 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

Well they changed their minds and are now headed back north through Weynton Pass!

Orcalab
11 Jun 2019 14:01:51 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

Here is a bit of an update: It turns out that only the C23s from the C10s are in the mix along with D9, D12s,D19. These whales moved through Weynton Passage and are now headed east (sort of) in Johnstone Strait. Thanks Jared for the IDs.

OrcaLab
11 Jun 2019 13:52:31 PDT



Distant calls audible.

We got report orcas (C10s, ID by JT) are at the west end of Blackfish sound, probably heading east. TJ heard calls around 12pm and nothing since then but we'll keep listening and waiting for them to maybe come around today.

TJ
11 Jun 2019 12:53:37 PDT



No orcas present.

So in the end, Jared found the C6s as well further west in Queen Charlotte Strait around 5pm. They became westbound. We were still hearing the D12s every so often and very distantly. Eventually Jared reported that they too were westbound. So close but not committed yet to coming further east. We will see what happens this evening.

OrcaLab
10 Jun 2019 20:20:56 PDT



Distant calls audible.

We have been waiting for quite a while ever since we received the report of orcas in Queen Charlotte Strait at 12:35pm. Jared Towers had a look at the pictures sent to him and decided the D12s were there. They have been foraging heavily and only just now we think we have heard calls - lots of boat noise unfortunately so this might be a challenge for a while. The tide changed at 1513 to the flood so that might encourage them along.

OrcaLab
10 Jun 2019 16:55:46 PDT



No orcas present.

Yesterday, the T109s and T069s turned up off the entrance to Knight Inlet around 12:30pm. They went through Weynton Passage and past Alert bay. By 2:17pm Jared Towers reported they were off Hyde Creek. They continued west toward the western end of Malcolm Island. We had humpbacks and Dalls porpoise in Blackney Pass through the afternoon: Both Quartz and Stitch (Jackie Hildering ID). This morning started off with TJ noticing a very relaxed humpback in close to the Main rubbing beach around 7:25am when she was checking the cameras. We are very excited because a couple of days ago we managed with the help of Mike Durban, TJ and Mathieu to install both the hydrophone and under water camera at the Main Rubbing beach. We are ready! You can check out the camera (beautiful) by going to https://explore.org/livecams/orcas/orcalab-rubbing-beach-underwater. Hope you enjoy!

Orcalab
09 Jun 2019 14:55:47 PDT



No orcas present.

Last night just before midnight Mathieu recorded the first sustained humpback vocals of the season . Dolphins as well! You can listen to this: https://soundcloud.com/user-361819329/orcalab-humpback-14may2019-2300h

Helena
15 May 2019 08:46:28 PDT



No orcas present.

It was another Guardian day today! Very low key as she travelled north, paused, changed direction, fluked with just enough of her underside showing. Dall's Porpoise in the Pass as well.

Helena
12 May 2019 21:51:01 PDT



No orcas present.

We are trying to get a handle on all the activity that happened today. First of all another humpback showed up in Blackney around 6am. This may have been "Clover", however, we will wait on getting a fluke picture before confirming. Then in the afternoon the T19s (with T18), the T99s, T100Bs, and the T36Bs went through Blackney towards Johnstone Strait. They stayed long enough in the Cracroft Point area for Jared to make an ID. The T36s were with the T99s yesterday west of Alert Bay. Later Jared came across another large group near Alert Bay - the T55s with T261, T261A, T261B, T259, and T256 The T55s are quite common in this area but the others have only been seen offshore and also only a few times. Dolphins were also in the Strait and were definitely a focus for the Biggs. Great effort by Jared Towers.

Helena
08 May 2019 23:00:51 PDT



Orcas near mics.

Orcas @ CP vocalizing

Matchu
08 May 2019 17:13:58 PDT