|Female Orca & calves - photo by Michael Mehta|
Given that these whales were so close to us (just a few hundred yards away) we were a little surprised that we hadn't heard them vocalizing while we were diving, as sound travels extremely well under water. But it never occurred to us these killer whales may in fact be transient killer whales or Bigg's killers whales as they are now referred to and that's why we hadn't heard them. Recognised as a distinct species of killer whale from the exclusively salmon eating resident killer whales, these killer whales feed primarily on seals and they purposely do not make any noise under water so as not to alert their prey. With the abundant population of harbour seals now inhabiting the Salish Sea these Bigg's Orcas are becoming less and less transient and even more regularly sighted than the local resident Orca pods.
|Nelson & Mike Dinghy Diving - photo by Junie Quiroga|