Leaving Seattle and heading to the San Juan Islands, the mecca of whale watching in the Pacific Northwest, this whale-watching tour also guarantees whale sightings and even gives you enough time to explore the town of Friday Harbor and their Whale Museum. The North Puget Sound gray whales, also known as the "Sounders," represent roughly a dozen individual whales, part of the larger population of the Eastern North Pacific gray whales. These are by no means the only spots to see whales from the shore. Orca Network encourages shore-based whale watching, or watching for whales while commuting on Washington State Ferries. A full list of tour options, as well as dining and lodging information can be found on the Visit San Juan Islands website. There are seven species of whales and dolphins that frequent the Puget Sound and Salish Sea (the waters that run up to the west of Vancouver Island): orcas, transient orcas, gray … $159 per person (3 person minimum) Singles are welcome and will be added to an existing tour; Private Group Whale Watching. However, certain commercial vessels have a five-year delay before the rule begins. Unlike the Southern Resident orca pods, which feed primarily on salmon in inland waters, transients feed on other meat sources when they pass through the area between Alaska and California. A group of transient killer whales fed on a gray whale in Puget Sound on Saturday. Since 1976, Ken Balcomb of the research center has been observing the Puget Sound orcas, or Southern Residents as … The gray whales are part of a dozen that come into the Puget Sound to feast on shrimp during their annual migration from Southern California to Alaska. Unlike resident orcas, transients travel and hunt in small groups of 2-6 individuals. These whales, often sick and debilitated, are often spotted farther south in the Puget Sound, reaching Tacoma and Seattle. Tl’uk the white orca has been wowing onlookers all over Puget Sound this month. The orca is … While plans are in the works to continue to improve their habitat, there’s a great amount of concern for their future. Don't watch if you're rooting for the seal to win. Help us explore and conserve marine life around the globe, starting with studying and saving the southern resident killer whales of the Pacific Northwest. Passengers and crew aboard two Puget Sound Express whale-watching boats witnessed transient orcas feeding on a gray whale Saturday south of Whidbey Island near Seattle. News Wildlife. The company guarantees that you will see a whale on your tour, and if you don’t, it comps another trip. “One report said they were ‘full of beans’ — breaching, slapping their tails, etc.,” Garrett said. The network even offers whale watching get-togethers and a ton of great information on everything you hope to know about the region’s orca population. Tl’uk the white orca has been wowing onlookers all over Puget Sound this month. Orcas from pod J in Puget Sound just west of Seattle. Here is Orca Network's December 27, 2020 Whale Sighting Report: Endangered SRKWs in Haro Strait and Puget Sound foraging for salmon, marine-mammal-hunting Bigg's killer whales travel around Hood Canal, NPS gray #53 pays an early visit to Possession Sound By choosing I Accept, you consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies. As orca numbers decline, we look at how the effects of toxic chemicals on the whales are magnified even as the residents slowly starve from a general lack of Chinook salmon, their chief source of food. Another option from Seattle is the San Juan Clipper. Show full articles without "Continue Reading" button for {0} hours. There are many opportunities to observe the orcas from the many miles of shoreline on Whidbey Island, the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsulas, and the inland waters of Puget Sound. The PWWA said whalers call gray whales … On Wednesday, Howard Garrett, co-founder and president of the board for the Orca Network, confirmed to The Bellingham Herald that it was the transient pod known as the T46Bs — named after the matriarch of the group T46B. Teaching young Orca to hunt seal. This destination is on the western side of San Juan Island and gives you unrivaled views in the whale-friendly waters of the Salish Sea. They are also sometimes referred to as the Puget Sound Regulars or the Saratoga Grays. In other parts of their range transients prey on Dall's porpoises, Steller sea lions, minke whales or grey whales. The calf was first seen in fall of 2018, but the unique coloration was not evident at that time because of poor lighting conditions, and it wasn’t until this year that people realized this whale is actually white or gray … An orca pale in color as a winter moon has been wowing onlookers all over Puget Sound. Orca Network encourages shore-based whale watching, or watching for whales while commuting on Washington State Ferries. Puget Sound Whale Watching Tours highliner 2020-03-13T15:34:33+00:00 We ... No other place on the planet gives you the opportunity to experience Orca, Grey and Humpback whales in the wild, observe bald eagles perched in their nest, or look down at seals as they forage for food, all while being surrounded by snow capped mountains, lush trees, and pristine water. Out of town, Point Defiance in Tacoma is one of the better locations to see whales throughout the year. During their northern migration from Baja California, these individuals break off of the migration route to Scott Griffin spotted the pod of Bigg’s transient orcas swimming in Case Inlet near his home in Allyn, Washington. Rare white orca spotted in Puget Sound Not truly an albino, as social media has dubbed it, the orca is actually gray, rather than the typically deep, dashing orca black. If a tour is too much or you prefer to go self-guided, one of the best whale watching spots in the world is Lime Kiln Point State Park. We’ll also watch for porpoise, seals, sea lions, and various types of birds. “Half of the calves born during a celebrated baby boom several years ago have died. Tl’uk — the juvenile gray or white killer whale occasionally spotted around the Puget Sound when his family travels through the area — was part of a transient pod of at least five orca spotted swimming and splashing not far off shore from Bellingham, according to numerous social media posts of people lucky enough to be outdoors on a sunny afternoon. Other family members and orcas were also present when these matrilines first arrived inland Puget Sound on December 4th. In the waters of Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands there are two different types of orca whales: mammal-eating orcas the Chinook salmon- eating orcas called Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW). (Howard Garrett/Orca Network/TNS) Puget Sound Express: Orcas and Grey Whale! Boat trips can be a great way to see whales and orcas, provided the trip is carried out responsibly. Few trips that show off the beauty of the Pacific Northwest on a sunny day as well this one, with views of the city, Mount Rainier, Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains, and even Mount Baker. The families merged on day 2, and then some departed that or the next day. From March through October, the full day package includes a 45 minute flight on a seaplane, leaving from Lake Union and heading to Friday Harbor, where San Juan Safaris will give you three-hour, naturalist-led cruise with what the company says is a 90 percent chance of seeing whales. — A rare white orca is causing a stir in Puget Sound. For over two decades Orca Network’s Whale Sighting Network has been tracking and identifying Southern resident orcas, transient or Bigg’s orcas, humpback whales, and in spring, the arriving North Puget Sound gray whales, or “Sounders” and assisting researchers and agencies such as National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, the Center for Whale Research, and Cascadia Research … reaching the way up to the governor’s office, best chances for orca sightings on the ferry, Kenmore Air’s Scenic Flight and Whale Watching Boat Tour. According to unofficial reports, Garrett said the T46Bs were visible from the beach near the old Mount Baker Plywood factory and Squalicum Beach. Passengers and crew aboard two Puget Sound Express whale-watching boats witnessed transient orcas feed on a gray whale Saturday south of Whidbey Island. There has been quite a buzz in the Salish Sea lately about the “white killer whale”! A male, gray orca has been spotted in Puget Sound, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean in Washington state. Orca are not all that common in Bellingham Bay, Garrett said, though the Orca Network does get reports of them venturing into the area two or three times per year. These orcas are not the same as the resident pods that live in Puget Sound which feed on salmon, not mammals. “Camp Casey is a great set of facilities for large groups in a beautiful location that happens to have fantastic views of Admiralty Inlet, which is the entrance to Puget Sound for orcas and gray whales, plus occasional humpbacks, minke whales, and the ever-present porpoises, seals and sea lions, and a great variety of seabirds,” Anderson said. They can detect it from miles away with their echo location, or just by hearing. Tl’uk — the juvenile gray or white killer whale occasionally spotted around the Puget Sound when his family travels through the area — was part of … The absolute best way to see which whales are nearby is to follow the Orca Network across their social media platforms and their website. After boat noise and disturbance were identified as factors in the decline of orcas, new regulations were passed in 2019 prohibiting watercraft from going within 200 yards of orcas and from parking within an orca path. If you would like to listen live to the orcas in the Puget Sound, visit orcasound.net for a livestream. Kenmore Air’s Scenic Flight and Whale Watching Boat Tour is the ultimate whale-watching trip out of Seattle. PWWA officials say a crew saw four killer whales cross paths with two adult “Saratoga gray whales,” part of around a dozen grays that come to Puget Sound each spring to feed on ghost shrimp. -Howard Garrett, Orca Network * Shared Boat Whale Watching . Minke, humpback, and orcas are commonly seen between May and October, while gray whales are common in March and April as they head north for the summer. Point Robinson on Vashon Island are also great options. Crews from the Pacific Whale Watch Association witnessed a rarely-seen attack by a pod of orcas on gray whales in Puget Sound near Everett this past Saturday. If booking a trip on a whale-watching tour isn’t of interest or not in your budget, you can still possibly see whales by riding the Washington State Ferry system. Puget Sound Land-Based Whale Sighting View Points The Southern Resident orcas often forage in Puget Sound during fall months in search of chum salmon, and mammal-eating Transient orcas, or Bigg's Killer Whales, may visit in search of seals, sea lions and porpoises any time of year. We feel the positive energy customers have shared with us in their eagerness to join us again and thank you for your continued support! Yet the combined population of J, K, and L pods, the “southern resident” orcas of Puget Sound, has dwindled from 98 in 1995 to just 76 at present. Orcinus orca is the only recognized extant species in the genus Orcinus, and one of many animal species originally described by Carl Linnaeus in his landmark 1758 10th edition of Systema Naturae. Last year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric … When heading to the beach or an overlook to scour the seas for whales, make sure you pack a pair of binoculars and your patience with you. Orca pod preys on gray whale in Puget Sound SEATTLE -- A pod of orcas apparently preyed on a gray whale near Whidbey Island Saturday, and experts are calling this an extremely “unusual event.” After the tour, hop back on the seaplane and return to Lake Union. By getting to know the whales of the region, we have a better chance at understanding our impact on the Puget Sound and the animals that call it home. Alisa Schulman-Janiger, co-founder of the California Killer Whale Project, had heard about the baby gray orca when it was first spotted in Monterey on Aug. 16, likely just after it had been born. Orca Network. Each spot is beautiful in its own right, giving you a glimpse of Washington’s marine life nearly every weekend of the year. VIEW OUR GALLERY. Puget Sound Express: Orcas (with a baby) and Grey Whale - See 1,998 traveller reviews, 552 candid photos, and great deals for Port Townsend, WA, at Tripadvisor. If they have an idea seals are in there, they’ll come in and scout around.”. In Washington State, there are 46 sites that are designated whale watching areas, called the Whale Trail. Puget Sound Express: Orcas and Greys - See 1,998 traveller reviews, 552 candid photos, and great deals for Port Townsend, WA, at Tripadvisor. The baby is the fifth born to the J-pod, one of three groups of Puget Sound orcas. An orca pale in color as a winter moon has been wowing onlookers all over Puget Sound. A Puget Sound Express whale-watching tour spotted four killer whales feeding on a grey whale on Saturday. Gray whales hugging the coastline and … Explore Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands No other place on the planet gives you the opportunity to experience Orca, Grey and Humpback whales in the wild , observe bald eagles perched in their nest, or look down at seals as they forage for food, all while being surrounded by snow capped mountains, lush trees, and pristine water. Not only was Bellingham Bay treated to a rare visit by a family of orca on Tuesday, May 26, one of the rarest and most well-known whales of all was part of the group. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Orcas in Puget Sound 6 photos. We are open and resuming whale watching tours. Groups of 4 or more are guaranteed a private tour! The whales around Puget Sound are currently battling the impact of pollution and climate change on our oceans and waterways. Please report all Puget Sound whale sightings right away to Orca Annie 206-463-9041. ©2020 The Bellingham Herald (Bellingham, Wash.), Visit The Bellingham Herald (Bellingham, Wash.) at www.bellinghamherald.com. — A rare white orca is causing a stir in Puget Sound. We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our site, show personalized content and targeted ads, analyze site traffic, and understand where our audiences come from. The museum, a must see for before or after a whale watching tour on the island, strives to promote stewardship of whales and the Salish Sea ecosystem through education and research. Read on to find out how you can help, and come visit us at the Puget Sound Orcas: Family Activity Center at the Seattle Aquarium to learn more. 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