Whale Watching Victoria BC

Marine Wildlife Sighting Guide for Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands

 

 

 

 

 Each summer Victoria becomes a Mecca for whale-watching from around the world. We offer private tours aboard our luxury zodiac.

 

 

 

One of our happy clients!

Humpback whales 40 minutes offshore from Victoria, BCHumpback whales 40 minutes offshore from Victoria, BC - Photo Credit Jeff Lorton

Birds of a Feather whale-watching departures can be from Victoria’s inner harbour, from Sidney, Metchosin, Sooke, Salt Spring Island, or anywhere we can trailer the boat. In fact we can even come to Vancouver and pick you up there, or just about anywhere on Vancouver Island. We specialize in custom private small-group charters which sail to your convenience and schedule.

Birds of a Feather Custom whale watching Victoria BC charters

Orca breaching during Victoria whale-watching tour

  • The best time of year for Orca (killer whale) watching is April through October. The Juan de Fuca and Haro Straits are home to three Resident Orca pods, called J, K and L pods, which total nearly 100 Orcas. In addition to the Orcas, we often see Minke, Gray and Humpback whales, porpoise, Stellar and California sea lions, harbour seals, elephant seals, river & sea otters and a large variety of sea birds such as cormorants, bald eagles and puffins, to name only a few. Sighting success rates during this peak season can range up to 99 % !!
  • wmv movie of Orcas with audio .89 MB
  • mpeg Orca breaching amongst kayakers 1.95 MB … a good reason to book one of our boats :-)

Orca breaching during whale watching tour from Victoria

Orca Killer whale

Orca Killer whale watching off Vancouver Island

Below: A Humpback whale flukes his tail in the ocean waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca just off southern Vancouver Island

Humpback Whale

 

 

Humpys, Orcas, Stellars and California Sea Lions all in one afternoon

Every day is a unique adventure out on the Salish Sea but today’s trip stood out. We launched at Pedder Bay Marina in Metchosin to place us close to Race Rocks. As the California and Stellar Sea Lion bulls were entertaining us from their perches on the rock formations we suddenly found ourselves surrounded by a dozen or so of these mamoths swimming, diving and porpoising. Then the incredible happened. One of the stellars suddenly sprang out of the water not 40 feet from us with a huge salmon which it had just caught as it breached the surface. The salmon was squirming it the sea lion’s mouth. Just as quickly as the stellar had surfaced he dove again and repeated this motion 2 more times. All the while a dozen or so of his very excited mates were porpoising almost in unison as a group. In 12 years being out here on the ocean that was a first for me. This was just the begginning of our adventure. We had heard reports of 4 to 6 humpbacks in the general vicinity over the past week. As we networked with our colleagues we heard 6 transient orcas were nearby. We spent a bit of time enjoying the orcas before heading out in the direction of the shipping lanes where soon we spotted 4 humpbacks. They put on quite a show for us including some excellent tail flukes. The humpbacks were also very vocal. All this in the space of 4 hours on one of those special autumn days when the seas were calm and the sun was out.

Whale calf buoys hopes for pod - L118 Orca

A rambunctious youngster is causing waves among whale watchers around Juan de Fuca Strait.

The first new calf of the season for the endangered southern resident killer whales is racing around with other members of L Pod, said Ken Balcomb, executive director of the Center for Whale Research in Friday Harbor, Washington.

Endangered western Pacific grey whale could be bound for Vancouver Island

Flex, an endangered western Pacific grey whale who has astounded researchers by leaving Russia and speeding across the Bering Sea, could be in northern Vancouver Island waters by the weekend.