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Check out my orca book and read on for
updates about the Southern Resident orcas,
links to fun audio and video recordings,
action ideasteacher resources
, and more!

Superpod: Saving the Endangered Orcas of the Pacific Northwest


(Chicago Review Press, April 2023) Fun nonfiction for kids & teens.
Learn about the beloved Southern Resident orcas and people working to help them recover using everything from drones and dogs to medicine and laws.

Bookshop | Seattle Aquarium Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Superpod cover with JLG seal.jpg
Anchor 1

Orca family updates

What's new with the Southern Residents?

Under a new proposal, our local orcas — resident and Bigg’s killer whales — would each become a new species | Encyclopedia of Puget Sound ( March 27, 2024.

Center for Whale Research's ​fall 2023 census: As of July 1, 2023, the Southern Resident killer whale population (J, K, and L pods) comprised 75 individuals. No deaths were recorded in the latest census period. J pod has 25 individuals. K pod remains at 16, its lowest number in two decades. ​There were two births in L pod: L126 (male; mother is L119) and L127 (female; mother is L94), bringing the L pod count to 34 whales.


6/8/23: Which Southern Resident are you most like? Take the Seattle Aquarium quiz to find out!


6/14/23: New findings about the social structure of Bigg's killer whales, from the Center for Whale Research: Females maintain close relationships with their adult sons, while daughters disperse. Read more here!

Family trees:


Listen & watch

Hydrophone recordings, videos, and more!

Lighthouse at Lime Kiln State Park, along the Whale Trail. (Photo credit Nora Nickum)

Listen & watch

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:

Action ideas

Teacher & learning 

Curriculum ideas and links for learning

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

A Teacher's Guide to SUPERPODThis guide, designed to accompany the Superpod book and align with Common Core State Anchor Standards, has classroom activities, games, book discussion questions, and more!

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.

Teacher resources

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