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  • Writer's pictureElding's research team


Orcas / killer whales are toothed whales that actually belong in the oceanic dolphin family. The species is not too common in the Reykjavík area but we see them a few times a year for a short period of time.

On 28 February 2019 we had a rare encounter with two male orcas travelling together in Faxaflói bay, just outside Reykjavík. We got to watch them for about a half an hour before it was time to head back to shore, but it was great to be able to watch two big males go about their business before our very eyes.

On 15 December 2019 we again encountered a male orca, juvenile, a female and her calf travelling together in the bay. Like the other orca encounter earlier in the year, the pod only stayed for a day before moving on, but we got to enjoy their presence for a good amount of time, while giving them plenty of space.

Like always after a special encounter, we do some research and start comparing photos from previous tours. After doing some photo comparison from the two tours, we were able to positively MATCH and IDENTIFY the male orca encountered in December as the same one that was here with another male in February!

By having a research team that works hard on going through pictures and data of previously encountered whales, we are able to further understand a whale's social behaviour, feeding habits, migration and to estimate age and population. In this case, we are able to determine that this male orca has on at least two occasions travelled back to the bay with different constellations of its pod. Very cool!

Read more about the two encounters on 28 February 2019 and 15 December 2019 in our online whale diary.



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