Birdsong meets Eastern Tropical Pacific killer whales!
I saw orcas off the coast of Newport Beach, CA (USA) on January 7th! They were a rarely seen pod of Eastern Tropical Pacific killer whales, including 1 large male and 1 calf. Thanks to the Gray Whale Census Team and Alisa Schulman-Janiger for first spotting them from land at Palos Verdes while counting gray whales. Thank you also to my employer, Capt. Dave’s Dolphin Safari, for bringing us to the whales. I’ve included my photos of these beautiful creatures, taken at sunset. The tall, distinctive dorsal fin in the top photo is that of the male orca.
These types of killer whales, identified by their darker saddle area behind the dorsal fin, are usually seen from south of San Diego to Central Amercia. Because they are rarely seen, we don’t know much about them yet. It was a very fortunate sighting, indeed.
Check out the drone footage of these orcas taken by Newport Coastal Adventure at: Newport Coastal Adventure/YouTube and read more about this killer whale visit at: OC Register On-line. You can also hear my song about another type of orca, called Southern Resident Killer Whales, in my previous blog post. Sightings such as these and the opportunity to teach about cetaceans are two of the many reasons why I love my job as First Mate and Naturalist.
Glad to be singing on the sea,