Blows & Breaches: An OrcaLab Update

Blog post by: Natalie We attended the 10 year Springer Reunion at Telegraph Cove. We had a booth set up representing OrcaLab there July 13-15th. We played audio recordings of orca calls and also sold CD’s of Springer’s own vocalizations of when she first was reunited with her pod. There were a lot of people […]

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 […]

Sadness and sentiment – the start of summer 2011

A rare April encounter brought the first hint that the A5 pod might have suffered an unexpected loss. The young adult female, Nodales (A51), was not with her family, though all the A5 matrilines were present.  She and her 2010 baby were both missing.  Denial, and no further sightings of the group until much later, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Corky’s saddest day – December 11th 2007

Incredibly, this December 11th marks the 38th anniversary of Corky’s capture in 1969.  We say “incredibly” for several reasons.  One is that Corky, who has held the record for captive orca longevity for decades, is still alive despite her circumstances.  Surrounded by concrete walls, shut off from every natural ocean sound, circling her tank around […]

Good Springer news – November 15th 2007

Springer has returned to Johnstone Strait, and she looks great! Almost 3 anxious months have passed since the tragic oil spill in Robson Bight, which exposed fully 25% of the Northern resident orca community to toxic diesel fumes. Springer’s family, the A4 pod, was one of the groups which spent several hours amidst a dense […]

Corky’s sad 37th anniversary – December 11th 2006

December 11th, 2006, is the 37th anniversary of the tragic day that Corky’s family, the A5 pod of the “northern resident” community of British Columbia orcas, passed through the narrow entrance of Pender Harbour during a fierce winter storm, and had their lives forever changed.  Perhaps the whales were seeking shelter or chasing fish, or […]

Springer’s 4th anniversary – July 14th 2006

Springer’s 4th anniversary July 14th, 2006 marks the 4th anniversary of Springer’s repatriation. The little orphan orca, who’s dramatic rescue and return to her family captivated the world in 2002, is now 6 years old and a fully functional member of her A4 pod and Northern Resident orca community. Springer was in her usual place […]