Ear: Orcas

‘Orcas were seen in Tillamook Bay earlier today (June 28) after being seen in Depoe Bay on June 27,” the Central Oregon Coast Cetacean Watch posted recently on Facebook.

The post goes on to mention that Alisa Schulman-Janiger and Melisa Pinnow of the Center for Whale Research “… confirmed the (Depoe Bay) IDs as Bigg’s transients: the T49As and the T49Bs. That large male with the small nick in his fin is indeed 18-year-old T49A1, not yet full-grown.

“The T49As were in the Juan de Fuca Strait on June 10! This is another really terrific sighting, further south than these whales are typically seen.”

The screenshot shown of the orcas romping in Tillamook Bay June 28 is from a video, courtesy of the Lewis & Clark Guide Service of Garibaldi’s Facebook page (fb.me/LCGuide).

By the way, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation website says that Bigg’s transients are mammal-eating “top predators,” dining on harbor seals, minke whales, gray whale calves and the like. They live in small, family-oriented groups, and some calves stay with their mothers for life. (bit.ly/biggsorca)

As you may recall, on April Fools’ Day, Kelly’s Brighton Marina in Rockaway Beach posted a photo of a hungry orca cruising around Tillamook Bay on their Facebook page, and it was no joke. (http://bit.ly/KBMarina)

So, one has to wonder: Is Tillamook Bay becoming an orca fast-food hot spot?

Elleda Wilson is an editorial assistant for The Astorian and author of the award-winning In One Ear community column. Contact her at 971-704-1718 or ewilson@dailyastorian.com.

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