May 11th - T123s and an impressive Bald Eagle

We were treated to sunny skies and plenty of wildlife this balmy spring Friday! We headed over to East Point on Saturna Island to spend some time with the T123As, a familiar pod of orcas easily recognized by the large male, nicknamed Stanley (123A).  Stanley is 18 years old and like most male orcas, sticks close to his mom and sister, who is only 6 years old. Male orcas reach sexual maturity around Stanley’s age, so it will be interesting to see if he meets any lady friends this year.

 Stanley (T123A) showing of his dorsal fin nick and scars. Photo by Alanna Vivani

Stanley (T123A) showing of his dorsal fin nick and scars. Photo by Alanna Vivani

 Photo by Alanna Vivani

Photo by Alanna Vivani

 

On our way to East Point on Saturna Island, we spotted a beautiful Bald Eagle resuming his post on a Douglas fir tree. Due to the incredible productivity found in the Salish Sea, Bald Eagles have a wide variety of food to choose from, ranging from fish to waterfowl and small mammals milling around by the beach. As such, eagles are a common and well-loved sighting on our tours! They are opportunistic predators, meaning they’ll skip the hard work of catching prey if they can find carrion or snag food from another animal, such as an otter or heron. When eagles do hunt, however, it is a spectacular display of enormous wingspans (6-7.5ft!) helping them soar through the sky and dive at up to 160 km/hr to catch prey in their powerful talons. If their prey ends up being too heavy to lift out water, they can even rotate their shoulders to swim to shore!

 Bald Eagle preparing to land. Photo by James Clyburn

Bald Eagle preparing to land. Photo by James Clyburn

 

Eggs typically hatch around this time of year on Southern Vancouver Island, so visitors can look forward to lots of nest activity during May and June. Keep an eye out for large nests in tall trees and busy parents delivering food to their chicks. Spring is in the air and there is no better time to come whale watching! Come join us on one of our tours!

 Photo by Alanna Vivani

Photo by Alanna Vivani

Jilann LechnerComment