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Transients in the Spotlight

When all of us here at Seabreeze Adventures anticipated the start of the season we had no idea what to expect from the month of April. Past years we’ve had to cancel trips due to weather and lack of people in town interested in seeing whales. But to our surprise the month of April has been filled with sunny days, lots of tourists and locals, and most importantly whales!! The first trip of the season we found a large group of eight transient killer whales and this was only the beginning of transients taking over the Gulf Islands. Transients are marine mammal eating killer whales that have a large range extending from Alaska to Washington. They come into our area often to feed on seals, sea lions, porpoises and in rare events, larger whales such as Minke or Gray. Vancouver interactive map Transients travel in small pods of ~3-10 but can often join up with other pods to make a large hunting group of 20 or more. Our customers have been lucky enough to witness large groups of killer whales working together like a pack of wolves to kill 1 ton Steller sea lions. There has been several new calves spotted and the whales often play with their food to help teach the juveniles how to hunt. Needless to say this has been amazing time to view the size, intelligence and agility of killer whales! Less is known about these marine mammal eating killer whales and we hope through photo identification and increased sightings this season we will begin to further understand the behavior and life history of these animals.

A transient dives for a seal near Orcas Island