Do Not Copy

Do Not Copy

Saturday, January 30, 2016

1-30-16 All those Orca Babies

Saturday, January 30th
...since the early morning hours of January 19, when I was hearing J Pod faintly over the Lime Kiln hydrophones, the hydrophones have been absent of any Southern Resident calls...
...little did I know at the time that there was a new baby - J-55 - who had been first seen in Puget Sound less than 24 hours before...very cool...that explains to me why the whales took so long to get from the exit of Puget Sound (Admiralty Inlet) to passing by within hydrophone range somewhere south of Discovery Island...
...AND...why it took them so long to then reach Sooke, B.C., where they were spotted heading west...
And just how long was that?  From point to point - Admiralty Inlet to Discovery - 10 hours, and from Discovery to Sooke, 10 hours.
That is twice the length of time it normally would take them, documented many many times over the last several years.
...they were going against the current is one thing, but still that is way longer, and perhaps it was due to new baby, J-55...

...there was some question as to whether J Pod had been present on January 5th when whales had come in late in the day and no one had any visual confirmation as to who...
...from calls I heard that evening, I went back to prior recordings when only one pod was present and then recordings when there were mixed pods, etc. to compare and verify...it has taken a lot of time and has been very enlightening too. I'm not wanting to know every single call they make but am more interested in knowing the calls that would clue me in on who was present...there's more to explore, but here are some... There is supposed to be a recording here...it might be slow to show up.
video

...so J Pod was present, for sure, on January 5th...it is most likely they were up north...I keep asking 'where's the nursery?'...there must be one up there somewhere :)

...with so many babies in J Pod, normally one could tell who belonged to whom because they are usually seen close to their mom...well, watching all the mixing up they had been doing, that might not hold true...this image will give you an idea of dorsal fin shape differences and eye patches too...their dorsal fins will grow but will basically retain the shape they already have...from what I have seen in the past anyway...
...I can see how Sonic J-52 might get mistaken (except for his open saddle patches) for Scarlet J-50.  Scarlet has rake marks on her body and her dorsal fin, from birth, and Sonic has mainly scratches on his body...but then he acquired rake marks on the front edge of his dorsal fin...I'm guessing his will fade and Scarlet's might not ever fade, but only time will tell with that.

...the L Pod babies, Windsong L-121 belongs to the L12s, a group we haven't seen as often as the other Ls...so unless Matia has another, Windsong will be 'obvious'...
...L-122 belongs to the L47 family and L-123 belongs to the L-55 family...they used to travel together just about all the time...last year there were a couple times in the late part of the year when the L55s were not present when the L47s, L26s, and L43s were, but we might now know why...a baby was on the way! - L-123. 

...Bottom line:  everyone just hopes they all survive the winter.

...so many babies - 6 in J Pod...that's the most babies I've seen born in a 12 month time period in the same pod...
...L Pod has three new babies...
...and K Pod...well, I think they are just waiting to surprise us - wishful thinking on everyone's part, I know :)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wonderful photos and insight Jeanne. Thank you! can't wait to come back and see them all in July! Laurie

Jeanne said...

I like that attitude..."see them all" !