Congrats are due to a new killer whale mom in J Pod

I received word tonight from Orca Network that a new calf has been born in J Pod. I’ve written the following story for tomorrow’s Kitsap Sun:

<em>New orca calf born in J Pod.</em><small>Photo by Jeanne Hyde</small>
New orca calf born in J Pod.
Photo by Jeanne Hyde

A newborn killer whale calf has been reported in J Pod, one of the three pods that frequent the Salish Sea, which includes Puget Sound.

The new baby has been given the designation J-46, the next available number in sequence, said Susan Berta of Orca Network. The calf has been seen with J-28, a 16-year-old orca named Polaris who is presumed to be the mom.

J Pod has been out of the area for days but appeared off San Juan Island this afternoon, Berta said. The pod headed south but made a turn somewhere. At dusk, J and K pods were sighted in Canadian waters near Victoria.

This birth brings the population of J Pod to 27 and the total for all three pods to 87.
This appears to be J-28’s first baby. See Center for Whale Research.

For some first-hand accounts of the exciting discovery, check blogs by Jeanne Hyde and Monika Wieland.

2 thoughts on “Congrats are due to a new killer whale mom in J Pod

  1. Before we crack into the bubbly, please remember that first born calves suffer the double whammy of being born to an inexperienced mother who dumps much of her lifelong burden of PCB’s into the vulnerable newborn’s developing body. I don’t want to jinx the good news but would be happy to pop the cork on J46’s first birthday.

  2. November 13, 2009 on the 9:40 AM ferry from Bainbridge to Seattle the captain announced the siting of Orca whales. We observed at least 4 orcas including what must be J-46 or Star swimming with it’s mother.
    Haven’t observed them that closely in the 20+ years I have lived here.
    Maria Mason

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