endless summer

Signs that Fall is here are everywhere. It’s dark when I get up at 6am, the first hint of a new day on the horizon; the forest floor has turned gold and green as the cedars shed their summer cloak; honeysuckle leaves litter the boardwalks and garden ground; bright red honeysuckle berries are being plucked […]

supercrowd

When used in relation to British Columbia’s Northern Resident orca community, the term “superpod” refers to a gathering of more than 50 orcas that includes families from all three of the community’s “clans” – A, G, and R.   Pretty much every year, superpods come together in the Johnstone Strait area, creating a truly impressive spectacle […]

A mother and daughter

Simoom (A34) was born in 1975, so she is 35 years old and in the prime of her life as a female orca.  In a way, Simoom’s is a very ordinary orca story – a girl growing up in a tight-knit family, having kids at a normal age, thriving as a member of her extended […]

Rub a rub a rub

Yesterday, the group of orcas (A11s with Springer, A36s with A12, A8s) that had been far to the east in Johnstone Strait for several days (probably fishing or looking for fish) returned to western Johnstone Strait.  They arrived at the eastern boundary of the Reserve around 8am, went in for a rub at the Main […]

Ties that bind

Several “A” clan matrilines in Gordon Channel, near Port Hardy, July 11, 2010.  Photo by Donna Mackay. Basic facts about orca society, and the glue that holds it together, have been known since the 1970s, when the “photo-ID” work of Mike Bigg and Ian McAskie, & their collaborators, revealed that “resident” fish eating orcas live in […]

Gone fishing

It seems that the groups who’ve arrived so far (A36s with A12, A8s, A11s) have been finding it easier to be in Nodales Channel, in the far eastern reaches of Johnstone Strait, than in our immediate vicinity.  This is a pattern we’ve seen frequently in the last few years, and think it reflects the general […]

New arrivals

Yesterday, early in the afternoon, came the exciting news that “incoming” orcas were on their way, heading from Lizard Point towards Donegal Head on Malcolm Island.  They chose to enter Johnstone Strait via Weynton Pass, and were in two groups. There was some initial speculation as to who was there, but once DFO’s Jared Towers […]

Springer update… Looking good! – August 2nd 2002

Springer (A73) is showing every sign of adjusting successfully to her new life in the wild. When we saw her last, two evenings ago, close in front of OrcaLab heading north, she was travelling closest to her natal matriline, the A24s – with her “adopted” matriline, the A25s, not far behind. This is a very […]