AF28 Nunatak and her calf, AF87 Avaaz. This juvenile has been lovingly nicknamed “Nacho” by local whale watchers.
Photo by Elston Hill
Juneau-Area Orcas by Stephen Lefkovits
Looks like AF23 Squaretop and AF59 Comber :)
I started this blog as a way to keep track of various photos and videos of the Alaskan resident and transient orcas; I never thought so many of you would take up an interest in them as well!
Thanks to all of my followers, and know that I appreciate every one of you :)
Most likely the AK6s. Looks like AK12 Eldorado there on the far right!
Does anyone know of any good resources I can use to teach myself how to recognize and identify different orcas?
I love them and I’m super interested in learning more and I see so many people who can just casually recognize individual orcas by their fins like TEACH ME YOUR WAYS
You can use this one for the UK West Coast group! They’re a small population and everyone’s pretty distinctive, so it’d be a good one to start with. Followers, I know some of you have resources for the other populations!
Here’s the ID guide for the Alaskan resident orcas. There’s 300+ cataloged orcas and there are even pods not included in the ID charts. Plus there’s whales here in Alaska that nobody knows at all, so that adds to the challenge. It can be fairly difficult to ID large populations such as this one, but if you’re really willing to put effort into it, it’s extremely rewarding. I can now identify whales in photos with nothing but a glance.
I would advise you to pick a population, find an ID guide, and then use a photo-sharing website (such as Flickr) and search for photos of orcas in the area where your chosen population is found. Study the photos hard, looking at both the gray saddle patch behind the dorsal fin and the dorsal fin itself. Then use the ID guide for reference and see if you can match the whale in the photo up with a whale already cataloged! This is how I learned to ID orcas.
Killer Whale / Orca encounter encounter during the Kenai Fjords tour.
Out of curiosity, do you happen to have any photos showing the sides of the orcas? And did you see them in Aialik Bay?
A new photo of AF61 Snippet and AF18 Frederick from my favorite photographer and acquaintance, Ron Niebrugge!