ANOTHER LOOK: Orcas’ West Seattle weekend visit

We featured some photos of Saturday’s orca visit while they were in the area – and tonight, we have more photos, this time courtesy of Kersti Muul. She explains that her photos show “T102 and his Mama T101 passing by Alki Point Lighthouse yesterday, heading south at 2:15 PM.”

Kersti told us, “They were breathtakingly close and stunning in the bright sun. There were dozens of people on shore screaming and hooting and hollering. It made me cry to see the community so enthralled by these whales. As a volunteer, my favorite thing is when someone sees them for the first time, and having a part in that process as someone once did for me. It NEVER gets old.”

Kersti also shared two photos of the research boat with Mark and Maya Sears “to show you just how LARGE these guys are. In this (next) photo it is T100E in the front and T100C in the rear.”

The transient orcas are a completely different population from the residents. One big difference – their diet includes smaller marine mammals such as seals and sea lions, while the residents subsist almost entirely on fish, primarily salmon.

P.S. One more reminder for everyone interested in whales – The Whale Trail‘s next event, featuring researcher John Calambokidis talking about the increase in humpback and gray whales in Puget Sound, is Thursday at 7 pm at the Dakota Place Park Building; tickets are available here.

12 Replies to "ANOTHER LOOK: Orcas' West Seattle weekend visit"

  • Dennis Hinton April 17, 2017 (10:33 am)

    Outstanding photos

  • John April 17, 2017 (12:32 pm)

    I understand the boat is for research.  However, I feel they too should keep their distance.

    • Kersti Muul April 17, 2017 (6:46 pm)

      I’m the first to complain about boat distance…..but in the case of the researchers they sometimes are collecting samples of things that necessitates being close. They are NOAA permitted. Fecal, breath etc. Also ID photos.

      Although not collecting fecal samples with the T’s 

      It is usually the WW boats that are in violation, but enforcement is non-existent in south sound and citation is a rare occurrence. Both of these things  need to change.

  • Donna V. April 17, 2017 (12:48 pm)

    Awesome documentation, Kersti!

    • Kersti Muul April 17, 2017 (2:25 pm)

      Thank you. These creatures are spectacular. They were practically breathing on me!

  • Kelly Brenner April 17, 2017 (5:48 pm)

    Kersti, would you PLEASE consider adding these photos to iNaturalist? From the 14th-18th is the Seattle City Nature Challenge, a citizen science urban bioblitz. This observation would be the jewel in the crown!

    • Kersti muul April 18, 2017 (6:45 am)

      Ooooh yes! Thank you for the Information! 😍

      • Kelly Brenner April 18, 2017 (8:16 am)

        Thank you for adding them, Kersti! Major bragging rights for Seattle!

        • Kersti Muul April 18, 2017 (8:31 am)

          Thank you for letting me know! Everyone has been asking me to join I-naturalist for a long time, this forced me to finally do it! These beautiful orcas unite Seattle!

  • anonyme April 19, 2017 (7:33 am)

    Is it just me, or have we been seeing more visits by transients in Puget Sound the last few years?

    • Kersti Muul April 19, 2017 (10:45 am)

      We certainly are! This was the 5th time I have seen them in the last two months. 

      The T-100’s we sometimes refer to now as our “Resident Transients” 


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