Southern Resident Orcas and Harbour Porpoise-10/8/14

It is great to know that these whales are eating their favorite food, the Chinook salmon. There were milling and actively feeding off of Point Roberts. It looked like they had plenty to eat that day as their attention turned to a Harbour Porpoise that was close likely trying to get the scraps. Hunting the Chinook seemed to be completely forgotten as J39, J41 and J46’s attention turned to the Harbour Porpoises. This is not hunting behaviour as this particular sub-species of Orca are strictly chinook eaters. What it seemed like is play. Much like a cat plays with yarn. The three chased, tossed and otherwise batted around the Harbour Porpoise for close to an hour.  One of the Orca even had the porpoise in its mouth for a brief time.  This is a rarely seen behaviour that (as far as I could find out) had only been previously observed in other parts of the southern resident range including the West Side of San Juan and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  I hope that extended play like this means that their bellies were full enough to be able to indulge in such extended shenanigans.  I don’t think the Harbour Porpoise was impressed and we believe it eventually got away unharmed.

-Kathryn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *