We recently had an opportunity to contribute to whale research in a small but unique way.
On July 7 we had a fantastic experience with the T65B pod in East Sound / Orcas Island. The T65Bs have a new calf this year (T65B3) and during the encounter the calf was playing with an older sibling, T65B2 (Nettle/Corvis).
The two of them breached, tailslapped, and lunged out of the water on many occasions. Luckily the belly of new calf was visible during several of the breaches and we were able to determine the gender. T65B3 is a boy! The lack of mammary slits on the underside of the orca helped to confirm the gender.
We sent the photos in to researchers so that they can update their ID catalog with the gender of this young whale!