Orcas

Check out my orca books (forthcoming) and read on for updates about the Southern Resident orcas, links to fun audio and video recordings, teacher resources, action ideas, and more!

SUPERPOD (Chicago Review Press, 2023) - nonfiction for middle schoolers & up! Learn about the beloved Southern Resident orcas and people working to help them recover using everything from drones and dogs to medicine and laws.

OTTO AND THE FLYING ORCA (West Margin Press, 2023) - in this picture book, illustrated by Bao Luu, a friendship blossoms between an orca and a "flying whale" seaplane. 

Orca family updates

What's new with the Southern Residents?

3/2/22: Hy'Shqa (J37) has a new calf! See the Center for Whale Research's photos of baby J59. Unfortunately, Shachi (J19) and Alki (J36) suffered pregnancy losses

  

Interactive J pod family tree (Seattle Aquarium)

The Center for Whale Research does an annual census and reports new births and deaths.

Listen & watch

Hydrophone recordings, videos, and more!

Lighthouse at Lime Kiln State Park, along the Whale Trail.

Action ideas

Ways to help the Southern Resident orcas

Watching spawning salmon on the Cedar River Salmon Journey (credit Nora Nickum)

Increase salmon abundance:

 

Help reduce underwater noise and disturbance: 

  • Out on the water, follow the Be Whale Wise speed and distance regulations and guidelines at a minimum.

  • If you're in WA or BC, report any whale or dolphin sightings to the Whale Report Alert System, which will warn ship captains so they can avoid hitting the animals. Download the WhaleReport app to your smartphone or fill out the short form.
     

Listen live to Orcasound hydrophones, browse historical recordings, and join in as a community scientist.

Check out other action ideas at:

Teacher & learning 
resources

Curriculum ideas and links for learning

Transient orca passing by Lime Kiln State Park (credit Nora Nickum)

Learn the favorite calls of J, K, and L pods (Orcasound)

Explore common sounds of the Salish Sea by clicking the animals and other objects in this panoramic soundscape (Langley Whale Center & Orca Network)

Use the Center for Whale Research's app to identify whales by their saddle patch patterns and dorsal fin shapes

Lesson plans from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:

Grade 4 Life Sciences Unit on the endangered Southern Resident orcas created by the Bainbridge Island School District (NGSS-aligned)

Read my story in Cricket magazine (for 9-14 year olds), "Underwater music." Zara saves a young orca's life from afar by listening to streaming pod calls. Art by Agnes Loonstra.

Read my article in Muse magazine (for 9-14 year olds) about how scientists are discovering orca friendships: "From the air: Drone views of whales deliver some surprises." (Used by permission. © 2022 Cricket Media.)

Listen to the SeaDoc Society's Pod of Orcas podcast.

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