In the Still of the Evening...Orcas Play

07-26-2012

By Bethany, Expedition Leader, Wilderness Adventurer

It was the first night of our Un-Cruise, and two hours north of Ketchikan, we shut down our engines and put the hydrophone in the sea.

A Pod of Orcas

A pod of Orca Whales feeding & frolicking.

We were surrounded by at least 40 orcas and the chatter was huge. We heard laughing and squeaks, chuckles and beeps, clicking and a deep boom groan. Then, five humpbacks feeding near the shore added a long, low bellow below the orca frolic chat.

Calm waters

Calm seas...

We all stood quiet with huge grins and a few teary eyes. Flat calm seas..glassy, steely gray water – WOW (to say the least.)

A little bit of information about Orcas:
Orcas (Killer Whales) are toothed whales belonging to the oceanic dolphin family. They're found in all oceans and as a species have a diverse diet, although individual populations often specialize in particular types of prey. Some feed exclusively on fish, while others hunt marine mammals such as sea lions, seals, walruses and even large whales. Killer whales are regarded as apex predators, lacking natural predators. They are sometimes called the wolves of the sea, because they hunt in groups like wolf packs. Fish account for the majority of the diet in the Orcas we see in Southeast Alaska. On average, a killer whale eats about 500 pounds each day!




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