About the Class

This presentation is designed to give you a small window into the lives of our local whales, primarily our Endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW), and Biggs KWs, as interpreted by a naturalist. Tips will be provided on how to distinguish the differences between these two iconic species, their food source, and their behavior. We'll also touch on how to identify Humpback and Gray whales and the differences in their shapes, food choices, and 'blows'.

Follow-up session questions and answers:

What's your story from your time as a naturalist? Or coolest thing you've seen?
I love talking about whales and taking photos. As a volunteer naturalist I could pick and choose my days on the water and my method for education. The "coolest" thing (a whale of course) was standing on the ice floe edge with a Bowhead whale about 10 feet away from me (I was on an expedition trip in Nunavut, Canada, not as a naturalist). Fun to think about, thank you for asking.

What do you think about us eating hatchery chinook caught in Hood Canal? Do Orca get in there and fish?
No problem eating hatchery fish - the only objection to hatchery fish is they compete with the wild salmon for habitat and food. WDFW wants to increase the numbers of chinook hatchery fish both for people and whales, but saving the 'wild' salmon is also a huge factor. Our Southern Residents will eat hatchery chinook though.

what is the other 20% of their diet? The attendees also said they loved the pictures and your presentation!! :) Thank you again.
SRKWs are known to eat chum (blackmouth) salmon and pinks - but these fish are smaller and faster than the chinook and harder to catch. They'd also need to eat at least a dozen of the pinks to make up for one chinook!! They've been recorded eating halibut and rock fish, maybe a few other species, but not in great numbers.

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