@liliswhalecorner

Lili Wilson @liliswhalecorner

Wildlife / nature photographer. Naturalist / biologist. Hoping to inspire others through photos and education to protect our oceans and environment.

http://liliwilson.ca/

We had a really unique sighting of transient orca on Friday. The T46B matrilineal was sighted with two calves - one with partial albinism. (The first photo shows the calf with normal colouration, the other two show the pale grey one.) While it’s normal for calves to have lighter colouration, this one was very pale. There have been very few cases of albinism is orcas but it isn’t unheard of. In 1970, a partially albino female named Chimo (T4) was captured and kept in the now closed Sealand of the Pacific here in Victoria. She died two years later from complications caused by the autosomal recessive syndrome that gave her albinism - Chédiak-Higashi syndrome. It is possible that this orca was born with this rare disorder, or perhaps another that would cause this rare colouration. Hopefully this little one stays healthy - these types of disorders often come with a plethora of obstacles to overcome. .
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#orca #killerwhale #transientorcas #salishsea #conservationthrougheducation #blackfish #whale #saveourseas #canon #canon80d #wildlifephotography #naturephotography #marinebiology #conservation #marinescience #britishcolumbia
@liliswhalecorner

We had a really unique sighting of transient orca on Friday. The T46B matrilineal was sighted with two calves - one with partial albinism. (The first photo shows the calf with normal colouration, the other two show the pale grey one.) While it’s normal for calves to have lighter colouration, this one was very pale. There have been very few cases of albinism is orcas but it isn’t unheard of. In 1970, a partially albino female named Chimo (T4) was captured and kept in the now closed Sealand of the Pacific here in Victoria. She died two years later from complications caused by the autosomal recessive syndrome that gave her albinism - Chédiak-Higashi syndrome. It is possible that this orca was born with this rare disorder, or perhaps another that would cause this rare colouration. Hopefully this little one stays healthy - these types of disorders often come with a plethora of obstacles to overcome. . . . . #orca #killerwhale #transientorcas #salishsea #conservationthrougheducation

Happy Earth Day, everyone!! This year let’s show our planet as much love as these two sea lions are showing each other 😍 🌎 This year’s theme is “protect our species” - and that includes pinnipeds like these! My favourite thing about this photo is it is actually two different sea lion species! The darker one in front is a California sea lion, while the one behind is a Steller’s. And clearly the love is real here. 
For those who are not aware, there are some groups who are pushing to cull seals and sea lions to restore salmon populations. Culling has already begun in parts of the US and will hopefully not reach Canada. Large predator culls are risky at best, and these complex marine food webs risk becoming even more disturbed and imbalanced. When considering culling any animal remember you are dealing with complex systems that fluctuate and connect with one another. The term “food chain” almost never accurately describes any ecosystem - instead think “food WEB”. The current rise in transient orca populations may be affected by reduced seal/sea lion numbers, along with species feeding in lower trophic levels. .
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#earthday #sealion #sealions #savethesealions #racerocks #pinniped #love #naturephotography #nature #wildlife #wildlifephotography #saveourseas #marinebiology #marineconservation #canon #canon80d
@liliswhalecorner

Happy Earth Day, everyone!! This year let’s show our planet as much love as these two sea lions are showing each other 😍 🌎 This year’s theme is “protect our species” - and that includes pinnipeds like these! My favourite thing about this photo is it is actually two different sea lion species! The darker one in front is a California sea lion, while the one behind is a Steller’s. And clearly the love is real here. For those who are not aware, there are some groups who are pushing to cull seals and sea lions to restore salmon populations. Culling has already begun in parts of the US and will hopefully not reach Canada. Large predator culls are risky at best, and these complex marine food webs risk becoming even more disturbed and imbalanced. When considering culling any animal remember you are dealing with complex systems that fluctuate and connect with one another. The term “food chain” almost never accurately describes any ecosystem - instead think “food WEB”.

A few photos from a super fun day with the T49As near Salt Spring :) We arrived to see the whales socializing and rolling around (and even got a couple breaches!!). A big misconception among the public is that orcas are always acrobatic and excited. With transient orcas (the mammal-eaters) we rarely get to see the whales jump around as they would scare away all the potential meals in the area. Looks like they weren’t too worried about that today!
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#orca #killerwhale #jumpforjoy #transientorca #blackfish #salishsea #conservationthrougheducation #saveourseas #marinebiology #wildlifephotography #nature #naturephotography #britishcolumbia #canon #canon80d
@liliswhalecorner

A few photos from a super fun day with the T49As near Salt Spring :) We arrived to see the whales socializing and rolling around (and even got a couple breaches!!). A big misconception among the public is that orcas are always acrobatic and excited. With transient orcas (the mammal-eaters) we rarely get to see the whales jump around as they would scare away all the potential meals in the area. Looks like they weren’t too worried about that today! . . . . #orca #killerwhale #jumpforjoy #transientorca #blackfish #salishsea #conservationthrougheducation #saveourseas #marinebiology #wildlifephotography #nature #naturephotography #britishcolumbia #canon #canon80d

This is a photo of T65A2, a sprouting (teenage) male. This photo was taken 2 years ago when he was 13 years old on a calm, grey day. 
After seeing him again today it’s amazing to see how much he’s grown! Teenage male orcas are known as “sprouters” due to the drastic growth in their dorsal fins when they hit puberty (at around 12-13 years old). Sprouters have fins that are rapidly growing taller, but have not yet become rigid and straight (at around 18-19 years old). During this time the fin is a little wobbly, and though these males may be sexually mature, females don’t seem to be interested until they are no longer sporting a small, floppy fin ;)
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#sprouter #transientorcas #salishsea #conservationthrougheducation #killerwhale #orca #blackfish #whale #saveourseas #canon #wildlifephotography #blackandwhite #marinebiology #marinescience
@liliswhalecorner

This is a photo of T65A2, a sprouting (teenage) male. This photo was taken 2 years ago when he was 13 years old on a calm, grey day. After seeing him again today it’s amazing to see how much he’s grown! Teenage male orcas are known as “sprouters” due to the drastic growth in their dorsal fins when they hit puberty (at around 12-13 years old). Sprouters have fins that are rapidly growing taller, but have not yet become rigid and straight (at around 18-19 years old). During this time the fin is a little wobbly, and though these males may be sexually mature, females don’t seem to be interested until they are no longer sporting a small, floppy fin ;) . . . #sprouter #transientorcas #salishsea #conservationthrougheducation #killerwhale #orca #blackfish #whale #saveourseas #canon #wildlifephotography #blackandwhite #marinebiology #marinescience

These are photos of the iconic T11 transient orca matriline. Comprised of 2 members - mother and son - this family was one of the best at a stealthy seal kill that I’ve seen. The female (Wakana - T11) is missing and likely dead. Hopefully her son (Rainy - T11A) will stick around without her. Male orcas often don’t survive long after the death of their mother, but this guy has been seen travelling with another family and will hopefully be around a while longer! T11 was born in the early 1960s and was around 55 years old when she was last seen. Although that may seem like a long life for a wild animal, orca females used to be able to live into their 70s or 80s before ocean waters became highly polluted with persistent organic pollutants. Let’s hope Rainy pulls through a while longer!! .
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#gorainy #transientorcas #orca #blackfish #killerwhale #salishsea #marineconservation #marinebiology #saveourseas #stoppollution #wildlifephotography #naturephotography #canon #oceanphotography #conservationthrougheducation
@liliswhalecorner

These are photos of the iconic T11 transient orca matriline. Comprised of 2 members - mother and son - this family was one of the best at a stealthy seal kill that I’ve seen. The female (Wakana - T11) is missing and likely dead. Hopefully her son (Rainy - T11A) will stick around without her. Male orcas often don’t survive long after the death of their mother, but this guy has been seen travelling with another family and will hopefully be around a while longer! T11 was born in the early 1960s and was around 55 years old when she was last seen. Although that may seem like a long life for a wild animal, orca females used to be able to live into their 70s or 80s before ocean waters became highly polluted with persistent organic pollutants. Let’s hope Rainy pulls through a while longer!! . . . #gorainy #transientorcas #orca #blackfish #killerwhale #salishsea #marineconservation #marinebiology #saveourseas #stoppollution #wildlifephotography #naturephotography #canon

So great to be back on the water again with @princeofwhaleswhalewatching Had an awesome day last week with the T36As and T100s (transient mammal-eating killer whales) on some flat calm seas 🤤 And we got to see the T36A’s new calf!! #orca #whale #salishsea #princeofwhales #conservation #canon #wildlifephotography #saveourseas
@liliswhalecorner

So great to be back on the water again with @princeofwhaleswhalewatching Had an awesome day last week with the T36As and T100s (transient mammal-eating killer whales) on some flat calm seas 🤤 And we got to see the T36A’s new calf!! #orca #whale #salishsea #princeofwhales #conservation #canon #wildlifephotography #saveourseas

T11 (Wakana) spyhops next to the boat. Her son, T11A (Rainy), had just caught a harbour seal and was bringing it back to share with mom. The T11 matriline is one of my favourites to watch. As some of the older and larger killer whales, their hunting ability is truly amazing. Some of the stealthiest seal hunts I’ve seen have been made by the T11s, and there are only two of them in the family!
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#savethewhales #orca #killerwhale #blackfish #savetheocean #savethewhales #marinescience #marineconservation #wildlifephotography #naturephotography #canon #ocean #saveourseas
@liliswhalecorner

T11 (Wakana) spyhops next to the boat. Her son, T11A (Rainy), had just caught a harbour seal and was bringing it back to share with mom. The T11 matriline is one of my favourites to watch. As some of the older and larger killer whales, their hunting ability is truly amazing. Some of the stealthiest seal hunts I’ve seen have been made by the T11s, and there are only two of them in the family! . . . #savethewhales #orca #killerwhale #blackfish #savetheocean #savethewhales #marinescience #marineconservation #wildlifephotography #naturephotography #canon #ocean #saveourseas

Just two big male Steller’s sea lions yelling at each other. The best thing about hanging out with sea lions is you don’t have to get too close to see, hear, and smell them. You can really get the full experience at a distance. Sea lion haul-outs can be particularly smelly not only from their waste, but also because they exude an oil from their skin that can stick to the rocks. This oil ensures that their skin will not dry out while they sunbathe 😎🌞
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#conservationthrougheducation #sealion #sealions #pinniped #racerocks #salishsea #savetheocean #saveourseas #marinelife #marineconservation #conservation
@liliswhalecorner

Just two big male Steller’s sea lions yelling at each other. The best thing about hanging out with sea lions is you don’t have to get too close to see, hear, and smell them. You can really get the full experience at a distance. Sea lion haul-outs can be particularly smelly not only from their waste, but also because they exude an oil from their skin that can stick to the rocks. This oil ensures that their skin will not dry out while they sunbathe 😎🌞 . . . #conservationthrougheducation #sealion #sealions #pinniped #racerocks #salishsea #savetheocean #saveourseas #marinelife #marineconservation #conservation

The T36s swimming through glassy water on August 15th. Transient killer whales often swim stealthily close to shore when they’re looking for food. Some seals get a little too comfortable near the water and can be snatched off the rocks! .
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#transientorca #orca #killerwhale #Whale #conservationthrougheducation #savethewhales #savetheocean #saveouroceans #saveourseas #ocean #salishsea #marinescience #marineconservation #conservation
@liliswhalecorner

The T36s swimming through glassy water on August 15th. Transient killer whales often swim stealthily close to shore when they’re looking for food. Some seals get a little too comfortable near the water and can be snatched off the rocks! . . #transientorca #orca #killerwhale #Whale #conservationthrougheducation #savethewhales #savetheocean #saveouroceans #saveourseas #ocean #salishsea #marinescience #marineconservation #conservation

One of my favourite photos of a juvenile humpback jumping straight out of the water! I’d seen humpbacks jumping before but this one kept coming closer with each jump. .
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There are likely several reasons why whales breach - to signal acoustically to other individuals, to rid their bodies of parasites, in distress, or even just for fun. The way this guy was jumping around over and over, and slapping the water it seemed like it was just play time, but it’s impossible to know for sure. 
#jumpforjoy #conservationthrougheducation #savethewhales #humpbackwhale #humpback #breachingwhale #savetheocean #marineconservation #marinescience #ocean #salishsea #saveouroceans #saveourseas #saveourplanet
@liliswhalecorner

One of my favourite photos of a juvenile humpback jumping straight out of the water! I’d seen humpbacks jumping before but this one kept coming closer with each jump. . . There are likely several reasons why whales breach - to signal acoustically to other individuals, to rid their bodies of parasites, in distress, or even just for fun. The way this guy was jumping around over and over, and slapping the water it seemed like it was just play time, but it’s impossible to know for sure. #jumpforjoy #conservationthrougheducation #savethewhales #humpbackwhale #humpback #breachingwhale #savetheocean #marineconservation #marinescience #ocean #salishsea #saveouroceans #saveourseas #saveourplanet

This photo is of a humpback named BCY0160. She is also known as Heather from the small “H” marking in the top left hand corner of her tail. Humpbacks were locally extinct around Victoria due to whaling for 89 years - from 1908 to 1997. Heather was the second humpback whale to ever return to the Victoria area as a part of what we call the “Humpback Comeback”. Humpbacks are identified by the markings on the underside of their tail flukes, as well as the shape of the tail itself. Each one is different from the rest. Humpback tails can be all black, all white, or anything in between. 
#humpbackwhale #humpbackcomeback #conservationthrougheducation #savethewhales #savetheocean #marineconservation #marinescience
@liliswhalecorner

This photo is of a humpback named BCY0160. She is also known as Heather from the small “H” marking in the top left hand corner of her tail. Humpbacks were locally extinct around Victoria due to whaling for 89 years - from 1908 to 1997. Heather was the second humpback whale to ever return to the Victoria area as a part of what we call the “Humpback Comeback”. Humpbacks are identified by the markings on the underside of their tail flukes, as well as the shape of the tail itself. Each one is different from the rest. Humpback tails can be all black, all white, or anything in between. #humpbackwhale #humpbackcomeback #conservationthrougheducation #savethewhales #savetheocean #marineconservation #marinescience

Portrait of T123D from October 12th - only a few weeks old at the time. You can tell how young this little one is not only by its size, but by its yellow-orange colouration. Baby orcas are born yellow likely because they aren’t born with a thick blubber layer, which allows some of their blood vessels to be visible through their skin. Others say it’s because they are dyed yellow by the amniotic fluid in the womb. The yellow colour will fade in a few months to a year. 
#babywhale #orca #killerwhale #marinescience #marineconservation 
#conservationthrougheducation #savethewhales #savetheocean
@liliswhalecorner

Portrait of T123D from October 12th - only a few weeks old at the time. You can tell how young this little one is not only by its size, but by its yellow-orange colouration. Baby orcas are born yellow likely because they aren’t born with a thick blubber layer, which allows some of their blood vessels to be visible through their skin. Others say it’s because they are dyed yellow by the amniotic fluid in the womb. The yellow colour will fade in a few months to a year. #babywhale #orca #killerwhale #marinescience #marineconservation #conservationthrougheducation #savethewhales #savetheocean

California transients chasing a sea lion at sunset in the Juan de Fuca Strait. This was quite the afternoon. California transients are already quite a rarity in these waters and watching them hunt was an awesome opportunity to see them at their best. Sea lions are very large animals (up to 2500 lbs), and hunting them is a long event. Lasting at least 20 minutes, but known to take over an hour, these hunts showcase exactly why orcas are the apex predator of the ocean. 
#snacking #highproteindiet
#savethewhales #savetheocean #orca #conservationthrougheducation #marineconservation #marinescience
@liliswhalecorner

California transients chasing a sea lion at sunset in the Juan de Fuca Strait. This was quite the afternoon. California transients are already quite a rarity in these waters and watching them hunt was an awesome opportunity to see them at their best. Sea lions are very large animals (up to 2500 lbs), and hunting them is a long event. Lasting at least 20 minutes, but known to take over an hour, these hunts showcase exactly why orcas are the apex predator of the ocean. #snacking #highproteindiet #savethewhales #savetheocean #orca #conservationthrougheducation #marineconservation #marinescience

A spyhopping humpback whale! A spyhop is a term used for whales that briefly poke their heads out of the water - often to take a quick peak at what is at the surface. I love seeing humpbacks at this angle. You can see the barnacles covering the throat of the whale, and the ventral pleats that will open up when it feeds. 
#conservationthrougheducation #humpbackwhale #salishsea #spyhop #savetheocean #savethewhales #marineconservation #marinescience
@liliswhalecorner

A spyhopping humpback whale! A spyhop is a term used for whales that briefly poke their heads out of the water - often to take a quick peak at what is at the surface. I love seeing humpbacks at this angle. You can see the barnacles covering the throat of the whale, and the ventral pleats that will open up when it feeds. #conservationthrougheducation #humpbackwhale #salishsea #spyhop #savetheocean #savethewhales #marineconservation #marinescience

T123A, an 18-year old male transient (mammal-eating) orca, breaches over and over during a sea lion hunt! Sea lion hunts are one of those things where it’s hard to watch but you can’t look away. It often takes upwards of 20 minutes for a family of orcas to take down a sea lion. Partially because sea lion males can weigh up to 2500 lbs, but also because killer whales love to play with their food!
#orca #killerwhale #savethewhales #transientorcas #savetheocean #marineconservation #conservationthrougheducation #salishsea
@liliswhalecorner

T123A, an 18-year old male transient (mammal-eating) orca, breaches over and over during a sea lion hunt! Sea lion hunts are one of those things where it’s hard to watch but you can’t look away. It often takes upwards of 20 minutes for a family of orcas to take down a sea lion. Partially because sea lion males can weigh up to 2500 lbs, but also because killer whales love to play with their food! #orca #killerwhale #savethewhales #transientorcas #savetheocean #marineconservation #conservationthrougheducation #salishsea

Throwback to May 2017 when I saw my first T-party - when transient orca families get together and socialize. This particular female breached over and over again, but I didn’t capture the first several jumps due to my own excitement. It’s a day burned into my brain forever. 
Transients are known to be a very quiet and stealthy type of orca so that they can successfully sneak up on their prey - marine mammals like seals, sea lions and porpoise. They are not particularly “jumpy” so it’s always really exciting to watch them socialize. They tend to be the most active after a kill and a nice meal. 
#orca #killerwhale #digestivejumping #transientorca #conservationthrougheducation #savethewhales #savetheocean
@liliswhalecorner

Throwback to May 2017 when I saw my first T-party - when transient orca families get together and socialize. This particular female breached over and over again, but I didn’t capture the first several jumps due to my own excitement. It’s a day burned into my brain forever. Transients are known to be a very quiet and stealthy type of orca so that they can successfully sneak up on their prey - marine mammals like seals, sea lions and porpoise. They are not particularly “jumpy” so it’s always really exciting to watch them socialize. They tend to be the most active after a kill and a nice meal. #orca #killerwhale #digestivejumping #transientorca #conservationthrougheducation #savethewhales #savetheocean

Throwback to the exotic transient (mammal eating) orcas we had last week! Such a cool and rare encounter with T35As, T38As and 5 outer coastals - 4 of which had never before been seen in the Salish Sea! The two mature males had some of the biggest dorsal fins I’d ever seen. I was so lucky to be on the water with these rarely sighted individuals. 
This first photo shows one killer whale “spyhopping” - when they briefly push their heads out of the water to see what’s happening above the surface. Orcas do not have amazing vision, but they can see just as well out of the water as under it. 
#savethewhales #savetheocean #orca #killerwhale #salishsea #spyhop #conservationthrougheducation #marinescience #marineconservation
@liliswhalecorner

Throwback to the exotic transient (mammal eating) orcas we had last week! Such a cool and rare encounter with T35As, T38As and 5 outer coastals - 4 of which had never before been seen in the Salish Sea! The two mature males had some of the biggest dorsal fins I’d ever seen. I was so lucky to be on the water with these rarely sighted individuals. This first photo shows one killer whale “spyhopping” - when they briefly push their heads out of the water to see what’s happening above the surface. Orcas do not have amazing vision, but they can see just as well out of the water as under it. #savethewhales #savetheocean #orca #killerwhale #salishsea #spyhop #conservationthrougheducation #marinescience #marineconservation

Such a gorgeous day on the water! Humpbacks gulp and lunge feeding through the fog, and then the sun broke through. Any time I’m lucky enough to catch this I realize again how gigantic these animals are - and some of them were less than a year old!  #humpbackwhale #salishsea #babywhale #herringeatingcontest #conservation #savetheocean #savethewhales
@liliswhalecorner

Such a gorgeous day on the water! Humpbacks gulp and lunge feeding through the fog, and then the sun broke through. Any time I’m lucky enough to catch this I realize again how gigantic these animals are - and some of them were less than a year old! #humpbackwhale #salishsea #babywhale #herringeatingcontest #conservation #savetheocean #savethewhales

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