August 19 – A Tale of Two Families

© Five Star Whale Watching/Katie Smith. Image — Two of the many Transient orcas from today’s trip.

Transient Orcas

We had such an exciting encounter this morning! We headed out east after leaving Victoria’s Inner Harbour and found not one but two families of orcas near Discovery Island.

The two families were very surface-active together. Our guests were especially amazed at seeing the playful calf. Transient orcas are marine mammal eating orcas. They are often found together in their matrilineal pods, often led by the oldest female. Each pod has a unique dialect that its members use to communicate with each other. Unlike the loud and chit-chatty fish eating orcas, Transient orcas are silent hunters. They do not like alerting their preys of their presence. Instead they use non-vocal strategies, like tail-slapping.

Orca calves learn everything from their mothers, and they are often more surface-active and excited than their older counterparts. They practice their newly learned skills, which also helps them strengthen their muscles so they can keep up with their pods.

To view more photos from this trip, click on the following link.

August 19 – Morning Trip

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