Whales of British Columbia's North Coast
The information and photographs contained on this website are the result of 20 years of living alongside the majestic whales of northern BC. By reflecting on the time we have spent with our neighbours, we are only just beginning to understand their nutritional, spatial, acoustic and social needs. If there is anything we have learned, it is that there is so much left to know about whales. It has also been increasingly clear over the years just how distinctly unique the personality and culture of each individual species is and how they behave and interact with each other. Some whales display tendencies towards loneliness or shyness, while others choose a close circle of companions.
The return of humpback whales to our research area has been dramatic. We now sight humpbacks on a daily basis during the field season. Thanks to this high abundance we have been able to gain great insight into the social behaviour and habitat use of this robust cetacean.
The common names for orca include 'killer whale' or 'blackfish' and, more recently, 'wolves of the sea'. Three distinct population of Orca live along the coastline of British Columbia; resident, transient and offshore, each with a unique social structure and dialect.
Fin whales are the second largest mammal on the planet (only the blue whale is larger). They feed on euphausiids (a shrimp-like crustacean), herring, capelin, other shoaling fish, and squid! Like other baleen whales, the fin whale strains its food from the water through baleen plates.