Northern Resident Killer Whales

Feeding exclusively on fish, primarily salmonid species, this population currently numbers at around 300 individuals and is listed as Threatened under the Canadian Species at Risk Act (SARA). Northern resident killer whales generally travel in large pods of closely-related individuals within predictable ranges. In the summer, northern residents are most commonly observed in the waters around the northern end of Vancouver Island, and in sheltered inlets along British Columbia’s Central and North coasts. They are sometimes seen in the same areas in winter and in the waters of southeast Alaska. Learn more about resident killer whales.

Most whales in the northern resident population are named after specific places off the coast of British Columbia and within the range of the population. For example, Misty (A62) was names after Misty Pass near northern Vancouver Island. The northern residents are named by the researchers who study the whales.

Killer whales from six matrilines in the northern resident population are available for adoption. Each whale’s scientific number, adoption name, sex (if known), and year of birth are listed below. Click on the family tree or individual whale for more detailed information. 

A1 Pod (A Clan)

A34 Matriline

A34 Simoom (♀1975)

A55 Echo (♂ 1990)

A62 Misty (♀ 1994)

A67 Eclipse (♀ 1997)

A80 Hope (♂ 2004)

A83 Dusky (� 2005)

A91 Fantome (♂ 2009)

A96 Rainy (♂ 2010)

A102 Tuzo (� 2012)

A107 Blunden (� 2013)

A112 Barlow (� 2016)

A50 Matriline

A50 Clio (♀ 1984)

A72 Bend (♀ 1999)

A84 Klaoitsis (♂ 2005)

A99 Alder (� 2011)

A108 Jamieson (� 2014)

A54 Matriline

A54 Blinkhorn (♀ 1989)

A75 Cedar (♀ 2002)

A86 Cutter (♀ 2006)

A101 Kamux (� 2012)

A106 Nowell (� 2013)

A113 Pering (� 2016)

A4 Pod (A Clan)

A24 Matriline

A73 Springer (♀ 2000)

A104 Spirit (� 2013)

A116 Storm (� 2017)

A5 Pod (A Clan)

A42 Matriline

A42 Sonora (♀ 1980)

A66 Surf (♂ 1996)

A79 Current (♀ 2004)

A88 Cameleon (♀ 2008)

A103 Albion (♀ 2013)

A114 Ashlar (� 2017)

A23 Matriline

A43 Ripple (♀ 1981)

A60 Fife (♂ 1992)

A69 Midsummer (♀ 1997)

A95 Fern (� 2009)

A109 Eliot (� 2014)

I11 Pod (G Clan)

I16 Matriline

I51 Magee (♀ 1986)

I98 Darby (♂ 2002)

I106 Cultus (♂ 2004)

I128 Rivers (� 2009)

I129 Spitfire (� 2009)

I144 Spiller (� 2014)

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Northern resident killer whales are the only population known to rub on beach stones. Beach rubbing, as it’s called, is a highly ritualized social behavior that occurs in only a few locations.   The whales become excited as they approach   the rubbing beaches , blow the air out of their lungs so they sink, and scrub their bodies on smooth stones in the shallows.

Adopt a Killer Whale

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Simoom (A34)

Named after Simoom Sound on Gilford Island, Simoom (A34) is an adult female killer whale born in 1975. She is the only daughter of Scimitar (A12) and took over as family matriarch since Scimitar passed away in 2012. Simoom has five surviving offspring - sons Echo (A55), Hope (A80) and Rainy (A96), and daughters Misty (A62) and Eclipse (A67).

 

 

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Echo (A55)

Named after Echo Bay on Gilford Island, Echo (A55) is an adult male killer whale born in 1990. Echo is the eldest calf of Simoom (A34) and has two younger sisters - Misty (A62) and Eclipse (A67) - and two younger brothers - Hope (A80) and Rainy (A96).

 

 

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Misty (A62)

Named after Misty Pass near northern Vancouver Island, Misty (A62) is an adult female killer whale who was born in 1994. Misty's mother is Simoom (A34) and she has four siblings - brothers Echo (A55), Hope (A80) and Rainy (A96), and sister Eclipse (A67).

 

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Eclipse (A67)

Named after Eclipse Point on the north coast of British Columbia, Eclipse (A62) is a female killer whale who was born in late 1997. Eclipse has two living offspring: Tuzo (A102) and Barlow (A112).

 

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Hope (A80)

Named after Hope Island off the northeast coast of Vancouver Island, Hope (A80) is a male killer whale who was born in 2004. Hope is the fifth calf of Simoom (A34). Hope has an older brother, Echo (A55), two older sisters, Misty (A62) and Eclipse (A67), and a younger brother, Rainy (A96).


Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Dusky (A83)

Named after Dusky Cove near northern Vancouver Island, Dusky (A83) is a young killer whale who was born in 2005. Dusky is Misty (A62)'s eldest calf and has two younger siblings - Fantome (A91) and Blunden (A107).

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fantome (A91)

Named after Fantome Point on the southwest coast of Broughton Island, Fantome (A91) is a young male killer whale who was born in 2009. Fantome is the second calf of Misty (A62) and has two siblings - Dusky (A83) and Blunden (A107).

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Rainy (A96)

Named after Rainy Point on the northern end of Gilford Island, Rainy (A96) is a young male killer whale who was born in 2010. Rainy's mother is Simoom (A34) and he has four surviving older siblings - Echo (A55), Misty (A62), Eclipse (A67), and Hope (A80).

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Tuzo (A102)

Named after the Tuzo Islands off the central coast of British Columbia, Tuzo (A102) is a young killer whale of unknown sex, who was born in 2012. Tuzo is the second calf of Eclipse (A67) and has a younger sibling, Barlow (A112).

 

 

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Blunden (A107)

Named after Blunden Passage off the southeast coast of Broughton Island, Blunden (A107) is a young killer whale who was born in 2013. We do not yet know if Blunden is male or female. Blunden is the third calf of Misty (A62) and has two older siblings - brother Fantome (A91) and Dusky (A83).

 

 

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Barlow (A112)

Named after Barlow Point on the north coast of British Columbia, Barlow (A112) is a young killer whale born in 2016. We do not yet know whether Barlow is male or female. Barlow is the third calf of Eclipse (A67) and has an older sibling, Tuzo (A102).

 

 

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Clio (A50)

Named after Clio Channel north of West Cracroft Island, Clio (A50) is an adult female killer whale who was born in 1984. Clio has three living calves; Bend (A72), Klaoitsis (A84), and Alder (A99). Clio is also grandmother to Bend’s calf, Jamieson (A108).

 

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Bend (A72)

Named after Bend Island in Clio Channel, Bend (A72) is a female killer whale born in 1999. Bend’s name also refers to the sharp notch in the leading edge of her dorsal fin, which she obtained from an injury. Bend is the first calf of Clio (A50). In 2014, Bend became a first-time mother, giving birth to a calf of her own, Jamieson (A108).

 

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Klaoitsis (A84)

Named after Klaoitsis Island in Clio Channel, Klaoitsis (A84) is a young male killer whale born in 2005. He is the second calf of Clio (A50) and has two siblings; Alder (A99) and Bend (A72).

 

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Alder (A99)

Named after Alder Point on North Broughton Island, Alder (A99) is a young killer whale born in 2011. Alder is the third calf of Clio (A50) and has two older siblings; Klaoitsis (A84) and Bend (A72).

 

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Jamieson (A108)

Named after Jamieson Island in Wilson Passage on the east side of Harbledown Island, Jamieson (A108) is a young killer whale of unknown sex, born in 2014. Jamieson's mother is Bend (A72).

 

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Blinkhorn (A54)

Named after Blinkhorn Peninsula in Johnstone Strait, Blinkhorn (A54) is an adult female killer whale born in 1989. Blinkhorn has three offspring: Cedar (A75), Cutter (A86), and her youngest calf, Nowell (A106).

 

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Cedar (A75)

Named after Cedar Island at the entrance of Knight Inlet, Cedar (A75) is a female killer whale born in 2002. Cedar's mother is Blinkhorn (A54) and she has two younger siblings: Cutter (A86) and Nowell (A106). Cedar has two calves - Kamux (A101) and Pering (A113).

 

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Cutter (A86)

Named after Cutter Cove near Minstrel Island north of Johnstone Strait, Cutter (A86) is a female killer whale born in 2006. Cutter has an older sister, Cedar (A75) and a younger sibling, Nowell (A106). Cutter became a mother and gave birth to her first calf in the summer of 2019.

 

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Kamux (A101) 

Named after Kamux Island near Swanson Island, Kamux (A101) is a young killer whale of unknown sex, born in 2012. Kamux is the first calf of Cedar (A75) and has a younger sibling Pering (A113).

 

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Nowell (A106) 

Named after Nowell Channel on the southwestern side of Broughton Island, Nowell (A106) is a young killer whale born in 2013Nowell is the fourth offspring of Blinkhorn (A54) and has two surviving, older siblings: Cedar (A75) and Cutter (A86).

 

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Pering (A113)

Named after the Pering Islets, Pering (A113) is a young male killer whale of unknown sex, born in 2016. Pering is the second calf of Cedar (A75) and has an older sibling, Kamux (A101).

 

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Springer (A73)

Named after Springer Point on Sonora Island at the south end of Johnstone Strait, Springer (A73) is a young female killer whale who was born in 2000. In early 2002, Springer was the first killer whale rescued, rehabilitated, and released back into the wild. Springer has two calves, Spirit (A104) and Storm (A116).

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Spirit (A104)

Named after Spirit Island on the central coast of British Columbia, Spirit (A104) is a young killer whale of unknown sex, born in 2013. Spirit was the first born of Springer (A73), who showed up along and in poor health in Washington State's Puget Sound. She was rescued, rehabilitated, and released back to her pod a month later. When Springer gave birth to Spirit, it was the ultimate sign that Springer's reintroduction was a success. Spirit is now the older sibling to Springer's newest calf, Storm (A116) born in 2017.

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Storm (A116)

Named after Storm Rock in Fitz Hugh Sound, Storm (A116), is a young killer whale of unknown sex, born in 2017. Storm is the second calf of Springer (A73) who showed up alone and in poor health in Washington State's Puget Sound in early 2002. She was rescued, rehabilitated, and released back into the care of her Northern Resident pod a month later. When Springer gave birth to Spirit (A104), Storm’s older sibling, it was the ultimate sign that Springer’s reintroduction was a success!

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Sonora (A42)

Named after Sonora Island near Campbell River, Sonora (A42) is an adult female killer whale who was born in 1980. Sonora has five living offspring -  Surf (A66), Current (A79), Cameleon (A88), Albion (A103), and Ashlar (A114). In 2018, Sonora became a grandmother to Current's first calf, A119.

 

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Surf (A66)

Named after Surf Inlet on the north coast of British Columbia, Surf (A66) is an adult male killer whale born in 1996. He has four younger siblings: Current (A79), Cameleon (A79), Albion (A103), and Ashlar (A114).

 

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Current (A79)

Named after Current Passage at the southern end of Johnstone Strait, Current (A79) is a female killer whale born in 2004. Current comes from a big family with four siblings - Surf (A66), Cameleon (A88), Albion (A103), and Ashlar (A114). It was discovered last year that Current was a female as she gave birth to her first calf, A119.

 

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Cameleon (A88)

Named after Cameleon Harbour on Sonora Island, Cameleon (A88) is a young female killer whale born in 2008. She has four siblings: Surf (A66), Current (A79), Albion (A103), and Ashlar (A114).

 

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Albion (A103)

Named after Black Albion Point on the northern coast of British Columbia, Albion (A103) is a young killer whale born in 2013. Albion is the fifth calf of Sonora (A42) and we do not yet know whether Albion is male or female. Albion has four siblings - brother Surf (A66), sisters Current (A79) and Cameleon (A88), and younger sibling Ashlar (A114). 

 

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Ashlar (A114)

Named after Ashlar Cove on Quadra Island off the east coast of Vancouver Island, Ashlar (A114) is a young killer whale born in 2017. Ashlar is the sixth calf on Sonora (A42) and has 4 older siblings - brother Surf (A66), sisters Current (A79) and Cameleon (A88), and Albion (A103).

 

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Ripple (A43)

Named after Ripple Point in Johnstone Strait, Ripple (A43) is an adult female killer whale born in 1981. Ripple took over as family matriarch when her mother Stripe (A23) died in 2000. She has a younger brother, Fife (A60), and one living offspring; Midsummer (A69) who has two calves: Fern (A95) and Eliot (A109).

 

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fife (A60)

Named after Fife Sound on the mainland coast of British Columbia, Fife (A60) is an adult male killer whale born in 1992. In 2003, Fife was struck by a vessel and sustained deep cuts below the right side of his dorsal fin. Researchers believe that his sister is A16, who was taken into captivity in 1969 and currently lives at San Diego Sea World under the name Corky.

 

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Midsummer (A69)

Named after Midsummer Island off the mainland coast of British Columbia, Midsummer (A69) is an adult female killer whale born in 1997. Midsummer is the second and only surviving offspring of Ripple (A43) and has two calves of her own, Fern (A95) and Eliot (A109).

 

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fern (A95)

Named after Fern Island in the Indian Island Group near the entrance of Knight Inlet, Fern (A95) is a young killer whale of known sex born in 2009. Fern is the first offspring of Midsummer (A95) and has a younger sibling, Eliot (A109). In 2015, Fern was struck by a vessel but the wounds appear to have healed well.

 

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Eliot (A109)

Named after Eliot Passage at the southwest end of Knight inlet on the central coast of British Columbia, Eliot (A109) is a young killer whale born in 2014. Eliot is the second calf of Midsummer (A69) and has an older sibling and playmate, Fern (A95).

 

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Magee (I51)

Named after Magee Channel near the mouth of Rivers Inlet, Magee (I51) is an adult female killer whale who was born in 1986. Magee took over as family matriarch when her mother, Hecate (I16) passed away in 2018. Magee has three calves of her own: Cultus (I106), Spitfire (I129), and Spiller (I144).

 

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Darby (I98)

Named after Darby Channel on the central coast of British Columbia, Darby (I98) is a male killer whale born in 2002. Darby is the fifth calf of Hecate (I16) who unfortunately passed away in 2018. He has two surviving siblings: Magee (I51) and Rivers (I128). Darby is now a "sprouter", meaning that his dorsal fin will grow taller over the next few years as he reaches sexual maturity.

 

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Cultus (I106)

Named after Cultus Sound off the west coast of Hunter Island, Cultus (I106) is a male killer whale born in 2004. Cultus has two younger siblings: Spitfire (I129) and Spiller (I144).

 

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Rivers (I128)

Named after Rivers Inlet off the central coast of British Columbia, Rivers (I128) is a young killer whale born in 2009. We do not yet know whether Rivers is male or female. Rivers has two older siblings: Magee (I51) and Darby (I98).

 

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Spitfire (I129)

Named after Spitfire Channel at the south end of Hunter Island along the central coast of British Columbia, Spitfire (I129) is a young killer whale born in 2009. Spitfire is the second offspring of Magee (I51) and has two siblings: Cultus (I106) and Spiller (I144).

 

Northern resident population status courtesy of Towers et al., 2015 and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Spiller (I144)

Named after Spiller Channel off the north end of Fitz Hugh Sound, Spiller (I144) is a young killer whale of unknown sex, born in 2014. Spiller is the youngest in the family, with two older siblings: Cultus (I106) and Spitfire (I129).