6 orcas spotted off west Seattle
SEATTLE (AP) -- Six killer whales swimming by West Seattle gave residents a spectacular sight Monday as the sun set.
Howard Garrett of the Orca Network says the whales identified from photos represented all three Puget Sound pods -- J, K and L. He says this is the farthest south the orcas have been seen this year, and it may indicate a shift that typically happens in the fall.
The orcas spent May-September around the San Juan Islands, apparently feeding off Fraser River Chinook. Garrett says this time of year they follow chum salmon south into Puget Sound.
The Greenbank-based Orca Network received hundreds of photos from Monday's sightings.
The southern resident orcas are listed as an endangered species, and the Center for Whale Research estimates a population of 85 in three pods.