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Superpod!

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We are gearing up for summer here! Lucky for us the Killer Whales have decided to move into the area for summer too! Despite a slower Spring, we have been having amazing sightings over the past few weeks. We have seen Killer Whales every day for THREE weeks now. Yesterday, two more of our resident pods moved into the area and we have been seeing a Superpod for the past couple of days. A superpod is the name given to a large group of Killer Whales from different extended families (known as pods). We observe Killer Whales travelling in Superpods in the summer and fall when the Chinook salmon are returning to the Fraser River in the largest numbers. More salmon means more Killer Whales. During these Superpods we often observe a lot of surface activity and socialization amongst the whales, the pods generally spend the winter apart, so the summertime is when they get a chance to meet up and look for mates outside of their pod. While watching a Superpod, we put the hydrophone in the water to see if we can hear the whales. When multiple pods are together, we tend to hear frequent calls as the whales are excited and vocalizing to other members of their community. In our area a Superpod can mean up to 90 Killer Whales travelling together and the group can be spread out a mile or so in all directions. It may seem like a long ways to us, but Killer Whales can communicate with each other underwater over very long distances, its this communication and complicated sociality that makes these whales so intriguing and keeps us whale-heads coming back for more, day after day!

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