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Orca Baby Boom in 2015

Close-up shot of orcas in San Juan Islands
orca baby in the san juans
Baby J50 (Scarlet) with Mom J16 (Slick) December 2014. Photo by David Ellfrit, Center for Whale Research

After three years of unsuccessful orca births, the Southern Resident Killer Whale population has experienced a baby boom in 2015, with the seventh new calf announced this past week.

These births bring the total count of orcas in the J, K, and L pods to 84*:  J-pod has 29, K pod has 20*, and L pod 36.

Four of the newborns received their names from the Whale Museum in September:  J-50 is Scarlet, J-51 is Nova, L-121 is Windsong, and J-52 is Sonic.  The public voted in person and online to help christen the new calves with names to go along with their official numbers.

Details regarding the newborns can be found at The Whale Museum, and at Orca Network.  The named orcas can be “adopted” with donations to the Whale Museum, and the Orca Network offers the opportunity to sign up for the latest news about Orcas through email.  The Center for Whale Research has been tracking the resident orcas for over forty years, and their website has a wealth of scientific information regarding these magnificent marine animals.

* The number of SRKW individuals in the wild is 83, but we are including Lolita, who is a member of Kpod but has spent the last 40 years in captivity at Miami Aquarium.

More whales means the need for more salmon for them to eat, which means continuing the efforts to keep the Salish Sea free of pollution and releasing water from obsolete dams on mainland Washington.

The staff of Harrison House Suites works with the San Juan Island community to raise awareness of the health of our surrounding waters, and our underwater neighbors J, K & L pods.

Enjoy our “baby pictures” !!!


orca baby in the san juans
Baby L123 (sex unknown) with Mom L103 (Lapis) born November 2015. Photo by Mark Malleson
orca babies in the san juans
Baby J 53 (sex unknown) with probably mom J17 (Princess Angeline) first seen October 2015. Photo by Mark Malleson
orca baby in the san juans
Baby L 122 (male) with Mom L91 Muncher, born September 2015. Photo by Center for Whale Research
orca baby in the san juans
Baby L121 (Windsong) with Mom L94 (Calypso) born February 2015. Photo by Candace Emmons, NWFSC
orca baby in the san juans
Baby J 51 (Nova) with Mom J41 (Eclipse) born Febraury 2015. Photo by David Ellfrit, Center for Whale Research
orca baby in the san juans
Baby J52 (Sonic) with Mom J36 (Alki, born March 2015, Photo by David Ellfrit, Center for Whale Research

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