Call Types of Transient Killer Whales
Transient killer whales tend to produce very few vocalizations while travelling and can often pass by a hydrophone without being detected. Transients are stealth hunters because their prey (i.e. whales, porpoises, sea lions and seals) have excellent hearing and would flee if they heard these predators (transients). However, soon after attacking and consuming prey, they become quite vocal, and can be easily identified by their unique calls.
Transients have a more fluid social structure than residents, therefore have a lack of group-specific dialects. Instead of a wide variety of dialects, most transient calls belong to the same repertoire of 4 to 6 distinct call types. Though there is some variation between the call repertoires of B.C., Alaskan and Californian populations, all transient killer whales along the Pacific Northwest coast appear to share the same dialect. Listen to Pacific coast transient calls. Source: Dr. John Ford