June is Orca Month in Seattle and orca whales are expected to be out in full force in the Puget Sound.
The purpose of the month is to bring awareness about orcas, Sarah Hanke of Puget Sound Express said. Orca whales are some of the most studied in the world.
Hanke stopped by KING 5 Saturday morning to talk about the difference between whales that can be spotted in the area.
There are two types: resident and transient whales. They are the same type of animals, but have different characteristics, Hanke said.
Resident whales only eat salmon—it's their primary diet and they share it within the family, she said. Transient whales, though, follow the food and feed on seals, sea lions, or other marine mammals.
Transient whales travel in about packs to two to eight whales at once, Hanke said.
One way to spot the difference is by looking at the sides of their bodies. Behind the dorsal fin there's a white patch on the whale, and that's how they can be identified, just like a fingerprint on a human, she said.