orcas

Killer whales
1:02 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

6 orcas identified off West Seattle as sun sets

In this photo taken Monday, the dorsal fin of an orca whale is seen as the animal swims in Puget Sound in view of the setting sun as seen from Seattle's West Seattle neighborhood.
The Associated Press

More than a dozen killer whales swimming past West Seattle gave residents a spectacular sight Monday as the sun set.

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Killer whales
4:32 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Survival of male orcas depends on older females, study shows

A baby orca, sex unknown, was seen swimming between its mother and grandmother in Puget Sound in August.
James Maya Maya's Westside Charters

Researchers in the San Juan Islands say the survival of older female Orcas, after they go through menopause, helps younger males stay alive longer.

That might not surprise many humans, but scientists well-versed in the behavior of Orca whales say it’s a relatively new conclusion. And, in many species, females don’t live long after the end of their reproductive life.

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Diversions
10:47 am
Fri August 31, 2012

Photos: Killer whale caught catching air in Puget Sound

First photo in a series catching a killer whale breaching near South Beach in Puget Sound on Monday.
James Maya Maya's Westside Charters

James Maya, a ship captain and owner of a whale watching company, took these photos of an orca breaching on Monday off South Beach on San Juan Island.

He said this was the only whale breach that evening and he just happened to have his camera at the ready. These breaches are not uncommon, he added.

“Sometimes they just go crazy,” he said. 

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Killer whale rules
11:59 am
Thu August 16, 2012

No fine yet for closing on Puget Sound orcas

Boaters are being reminded about a 2011 requirement to stay at least 200 yards away from orcas. Previously it was just a guideline.
Andrew Reding Flickr

A boater who was caught by the Coast Guard too close to Puget Sound killer whales won't be penalized, but next  summer violators could be fined thousands of dollars.

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Puget Sound orcas
1:53 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Newborn orca calf reported in Puget Sound

The new calf, believed to have been born on Monday, is the first offspring of 11-year-old J37.
Center for Whale Research

BREMERTON, Wash. — A newborn orca calf has been reported off the west side of San Juan Island in the Puget Sound.

The Center for Whale Research reports the new calf was first spotted midday Monday among the adults of J pod, one of three killer whale pods that frequent Puget Sound.

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seismic surveys
2:40 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Endangered orcas cause delays for major earthquake research

The R/V Langseth uses sonar to study earthquake faults
Columbia University/Earth Institute

Updated 6/18/12, with comments and links from whale advocates.

An expensive science mission off the Washington and Oregon coasts has been scaled back, at least for now, out of concern for orca whales. A research ship is using blasts of sound to create maps of a major earthquake fault, which is considered the greatest tsunami risk along the U.S. Pacific coast.

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Killer Whales
5:09 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Possible albino killer whale spotted off Russian coast

The all-white killer whale is shown in this screen grab from a ITN video.

An all-white orca has been spotted by scientists during a research cruise off the eastern coast of Russia, near the Kamchatka Peninsula and the Commander Islands in the North Pacific, reports ABC news. The scientists have named the orca Iceberg.

“It is a breathtakingly beautiful animal,” Eric Hoyt, one of the scientists, told the AFP. “If we can get a full close-up of the eyes and they are pink, it would confirm Iceberg is an albino, but we don’t know much about albinism in orcas.”

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Killer Whales
7:18 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Mystery surrounds bruised and bloody killer whale carcass

Necropsy team including personnel from Portland State University, Seaside Aquarium, Cascadia Research, Seattle Seal Sitters and WDFW.
Dyanna Lambourn WDFW

The bruised and bloody carcass of an endangered killer whale washed ashore at Long Beach, Wash., this weekend. An initial necropsy did not pinpoint a cause of death.

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Environment
12:02 am
Mon February 13, 2012

Researchers on hunt for killer whales' winter hideout

A porpoising juvenile transient orca. Photo by Richard Dudley/Flickr

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 5:45 pm

This week , federal biologists will cast off on a research cruise from NOAA's new homeport in Newport, Oregon. They hope to crack an enduring mystery about some of the most studied killer whales on earth. Namely, where do the Northwest's resident orca whales go in the winter?

Every winter, the three pods of orca whales that call Northwest waters home just disappear into the wild blue yonder. Research biologist Dawn Noren and colleagues from the Northwest Fisheries Science Center are about to embark on a three-week mission to find them.

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Environment
2:45 pm
Thu October 6, 2011

Killer whales near Alaska village, appear stressed

Orcas, like the one pictured, have been seen farther up the Nushagak River than ever before.
DeWaine Tollefsrud Flikr

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Three killer whales have made an unusual trek up the Nushagak River in southwest Alaska.

NOAA Fisheries-Alaska region spokeswoman Julie Speegle says residents have seen killer whales at the mouth of the river, but never this far upriver.

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Breaking: Orcas and boaters
5:20 pm
Fri August 26, 2011

Killer whale thought struck by boat might just be pregnant

The Seattle Times reports that a whale reported to have been struck by a boat on the west side of San Juan Island might simply be pregnant.

Killer Whales
9:15 am
Thu July 21, 2011

Inbreeding is new concern for Puget Sound orcas

Killer whales that spend their summer in the Puget Sound have been breeding within their own family groups.
Associated Press

Scientists have a new concern about the killer whales that spend their summer in the Puget Sound. The orcas have been breeding within their own family groups, which may mean the population is more fragile than scientists thought.

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Environment
9:31 am
Mon July 11, 2011

Newborn calf spotted among returning orcas

In this July 6 photo provided by the Center for Whale Research, K-44, right, a newborn male orca whale, is shown swimming with his mother, K-27, near Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands.
Associated Press

FRIDAY HARBOR, Wash. – A newborn calf has been spotted among one of the pods of killer whales returning to the Puget Sound.

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Environment
9:19 am
Mon May 16, 2011

New rules to distance boats from endangered orcas start today

Going on a whale watching tour is a popular activity in the border waters between Washington State and British Columbia. New rules that take effect  Monday require vessels to give a wider berth to the iconic resident killer whales. KPLU's Tom Banse reports from one of the home ports of the whale watching fleet, in Victoria.

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Whale Watching Rules
6:00 am
Tue April 12, 2011

Step away from the whale: Whale watch regulations get tougher

Under new federal rules, whale watcher such as these will have to stay further back from the killer whales
Soundwatch

Next time you go whale watching on Puget Sound, be sure to take your binoculars. Soon, you’ll have to stay twice as far from the endangered killer whales as before. 

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