Wednesday, November 29, 2017

11-29-17 Groupings Toward Year's End

November 29th

In the early part of 2017 J Pod was split in a different manner than Group A and Group B.
Part of Group B, the J17 family group, and Onyx L-87, who was part of Group A, on multiple occasions were seen together and away from the rest of J Pod, by many miles.

The J16 family, who is known for their independence, was seen several times as the only SRKWs in the inland waters on several different occasions this year.

All of J Pod was pretty scarce in these inland waters for a good portion of the season.

In May, when they came in, Onyx was traveling with Cookie J-38.  Cookie had lost his brother the prior December.  Cookie belonged to Group B, but on this day it seemed that there was no Group A or B, it was J Pod, and they were back as a full unit.  They pretty much stayed that way, at least through November.
However, the J16 family maintained their independence.  Sonic J-52, a member of this family, died in September, so there was definitely more going on during this summer's season for this family group than we humans knew about.

With the loss of Granny, Shachi J-19, a Group A whale, had become the matriarch and some people wondered why Slick J-16, who is actually the oldest female in J Pod, did not become the matriarch.
-perhaps they want to keep their independent ways;
-perhaps it was because Sonic was in ill health, so this family had other things to deal with.
We will have to watch to see what unfolds in 2018.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

January 1, 2017 Group A - Group B - Starting the New Year

It is the beginning of January, 2017

News came in the early afternoon that another whale has died. Granny J-2

2016 was a year of too many losses to this community.

There were 3 losses that basically didn't have a chance:
J-55 - seen only one time
deceased calf being pushed by Tsuchi J-31
deceased calf - necropsy showed a member of the community but no lineage identified   

Group A lost:
Granny J-2

Samish J-14

Group B lost:
Polaris J-28  
Dipper J-54 
DoubleStuf J-34

An additional member of the community not related to J Pod, but who needs to be included in noting deaths is:
Nigel L-95

(I may have missed another...just not sure...)

Whether Group A and Group B will split again remains to be seen.  During December 2016 some members of each family group were seen together.  They were spread far across whatever body of water they were in and spread from the leaders to the trailers, so it was difficult to tell exactly who all were present.

ADDED: And now with Granny J-2 gone, the matriarch of not only J Pod but of the entire community there may be some big changes this next year. Maybe not.  We can only watch and learn.

IN 2016 
When J Pod came in and basically stayed, it was early July. 
It was Granny's Group - Group A that came in first.
Next was part of Group B - the J17s and the J22s. 
Then the J11s  - Group B - showed up with L Pod whales!  

There were times Group A and B were together, including the J16s who sometimes go off on their own. They still are maintaining those close affiliations which they have had for a long, long time, and likely always will.

So are Group A and Group B still just that?  Yes, but...and if nothing else it helps you know who to look for and if you don't find them, then you start expanding to the other Group or possibly even to K or L pod.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

4-9-16 Who is Where Now


Though it is early in 2016 there was a recent split in J Pod.  
This has only been since March 24th.
How long it will continue remains to be seen.

'Group A' and 'Group B', an easy way to list them instead of listing each individual, have gone through some changes since they began this in 2010.

And now the newest change, though it may be short in duration, is very interesting.
There is no answer as to why, only speculation.

All of J Pod has been seen together in 2016.
They have passed through these local waters several times but have not stayed long, which is considered normal for the early part of the year. (See blog posts on Whale of A Purpose details of encounters, etc.)

Last fall all J Pod was mixed.  Whereas they had traveled most often as the two groups, even when traveling together, that had changed.

In December, another calf was added to J Pod, J-54, belonging to Group B.

The J11s, of Group B, were seen traveling closer with Granny J-2 and Onyx L-87, which seemed unusual.  This was noted more than once.

Now in March 2016, the J17s and J22s remained in the inland waters while the rest of J Pod, including the J11s, left and headed west in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

As of this post, today is the 17th day the J17 and J22 family groups have been the only J Pod whales known to be in the inland waters. The remaining members of Group B and all of Group A have not been seen again...yet.

So is there still a Group A and a Group B?

We'll have to wait and see. 

See the July 2012 post on this blog for the listing of who was originally in Group A and Group B.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

11-1-15 How They Traveled Most of 2015

As of late October 2015

Granny J-2, Onyx L-87, and the J14s were consistent. However, that included the K14 family group who traveled with them almost consistently into October.

The J19s
Shachi J-19, Eclipse J-41 and now she had her first offspring, J-51.
They did some switching between Group A and Group B whales.
It seemed that Notch, J-47, of Group B liked being with little guy J-51.
The first time both Group A and B whales were in the same general vicinity when these two were seen together.
The second time (that I saw) J-51 (group A) and J-47 (Group B) were playing as little kids will do. Their mothers were nearby.  All four were at the back of Group A and toward the front of Group B. That day J-47 and his mother went with Group A.  That is the first time I am aware of the J17 family group (Group B) splitting (J-35 and J-47 belong to the J17s). And they stayed with Group A.

After that the J19s switched back and forth between Group A and Group B throughout the season.

The J16s
The family with two new offspring - J-50 and J-52 - were, as usual, independent and on every encounter one had to see if the J16s were present.  Sometimes they were miles from the rest of J pod.  And the next sighting they might be with J pod.

For the most part Group B traveled together.  However the J22s sometimes split off and spent time with some L pod whales. 

By October J Pod was traveling as a full pod, plus Onyx L-87.

Now with 4 new offspring in J pod (and 2 in L pod) I sometimes wonder if the kids are 'in charge'.  Don't we humans try to keep the kids happy and want to give them time to play with other youngsters.  I wonder if the orcas do that too.  It sure looked like it during far.  November 1, 2105

I'm guessing that with offspring in three different family groups in J pod:
J16s - 2 babies
J17s - 1 baby - 10-24-15 first seen (belongs to J-47's family)

J19s - 1 baby
...there may just be lots of play dates in the future and Groups A and B might be all mixed up!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

1-21-15 How They Traveled In 2014

During 2014:
Group A and Group B were still just that.  
However, in 2014 they mixed it up a bit.

A sample:

Group A and the J22s
    Everyone else was out

Group A and the K14s
    Group B was out

Group A Minus, the J22s, and the L12s
    Everyone else was out

Group A Minus up in the Strait of Georgia
    J16s down by Whidbey Island
        Group B was out

Late in the year all of J Pod traveled together.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

1-22-14 A & B - Is It a Thing of the Past?

January 22, 2014
Group A   Group B   and of course Onyx L-87
Is it a 'thing of the past'?

It may be, but we'll have to wait and see.

What I find most interesting is that this past season with such a lack of salmon, instead of 'let's split up for a better chance of finding food' they were together more than they were split....and of course they just weren't here.

Looking back to 2010, which was a hugely abundant salmon year, the whales had split for most of the season.

Was it all social?