Where do Orcas live?
The name “Killer Whale” is an extremely misleading term, as they are actually not whales at all but the killers OF whales. Orcas are dolphins, and they are the largest species of dolphin in the world. Dolphins and You: Hawaii Dolphin Tour was lucky enough to spot a pod of them on Thursday, November 2nd 2023! This is extremely rare due to the fact that Orcas are most commonly found in places like Antartica, the Pacific Northwest, Scandinavia, and other places with low ocean temperatures. This makes sightings of Orcas EXTREMELY rare in parts of the central and south pacific where the water temperature is typically far to warm for these animals. So what was this pod of Orcas doing off the Western coast of O’ahu?
Why are Orca sightings rare in Hawaii?
Although we cannot simply ask the Orcas what they are doing here, we can hypothesize as to why these animals are in the warm coastal waters off of the Hawaiian Islands. Orcas are apex predators and they eat things like, fish, squid, dolphins, whales, seals, sharks, and not just any sharks but they specifically like Great White Sharks. Like the Orcas, Great Whites are not super common in Hawaii because they tend to prefer colder water, however, they are known to visit the islands in the winter when the water temperatures drop, but they also come here during that time of year because humpback whales migrate from Alaska to Hawaiian waters in the wintertime to mate and give birth.
What are Orcas doing in Hawaii?
With that information in mind, we are able to conclude that this pod of Orcas made their way to Hawaii by following Humpback Whales from the cold waters of the Pacific Northwest, many of which have just begun to arrive in Hawaii. Dolphins and You spotted the first Humpback Whales of the season just a week ago. Whether they’re naturally supposed to be here in Hawaii or not, it’s safe to say that we are ecstatic that they’re here and we are able to observe them on Dolphins and You. In over 20 years of operation, this is the first time Dolphins and You has ever encountered Orcas! Although wildlife sightings can never be guaranteed, if you would like a chance to sea wild Orcas in Hawaii, Dolphins and You: dolphin watch and reef snorkel will provide you the best opportunity to do so, although it’s likely that they will not be here long, so what are you waiting for? Book your tour today and we’ll look forward to our ocean safari tour with you!