# of killer whales: 10
ID: CA39s, CA10, CA111, and the CA23s
Our next sighting from 2020 was on February 23rd, when we spent time with 10 killer whales: the CA39s, CA10, CA111, and the CA23s - some of which we first observed in the 1980s! Nancy Black of California Killer Whale Project, owner of Monterey Bay Whale Watch, first encountered male CA10 in 1987 as a large adult; he was first spotted in Monterey Bay in 1984. Since males are not full grown until 20 years, CA10 is at least 50 years old! CA111 was first sighted by Nancy Black in 1990 as an adult female; since females mature around age 10, she is at least 41 years old! CA39 was first seen by Nancy Black in 1991, making her an older female as well.
The dorsal fins of these two females have changed little since we met them all those years ago. CA39 has had a very successful matriline, with multiple offspring and grandkids. This amazing sighting included some rarely encountered older whales that we have been studying for over 30 years: what an incredible experience!
Photos by Daniel Bianchetta and Colleen Talty