The resident killer whales have returned to the San Juan Islands of Washington this month just in time for the launch of our kayak tour season! At least two of the three resident orca whale pods have been sighted this month. Additionally, there has been a great deal of transient killer whale activity.
Today’s afternoon kayaking trip witnessed several transient orca whales cruise in search of seals and sea lions for food. This morning we launched both a two-day San Juan Island kayaking tour and three-day San Juan Island kayaking trip, and both groups enjoyed some excellent transient killer whale watching right after finishing brief rests on a beach for lunch. All of our kayaking tours in Washington follow the exact routes that the orca whales stick to nearly all spring and summer – check out our San Juan Islands kayaking route maps page.
Other great wildlife happenings are taking place on a daily basis, including plenty of Dall’s porpoise and harbor porpoise encounters. Steller’s sea lions and California sea lion numbers are declining quickly as they migrate back to their Oregon breeding colonies, but harbor seals remain abundant as they remain all summer to give birth to their pups right in the San Juan Islands of Washington.
Many breeding seabirds have already begun their nesting cycles. Bald eagles are already feeding young chicks as are the peregrine falcons. We consider these birds of prey to be seabirds in an ecological sense as they capture nearly all their food along the shore or over the water and their nests are located there as well. Rhinoceros auklets, pigeon guillemots, and black oystercatchers are busy setting up territories and renovating old nest sites. Photo courtesy of Maya Whale Watching Tours.