Photos: Orcas are the stars of a Resurrection Bay boat tour prime for wildlife viewing

Late May to early June is a prime time to view killer whales in Kenai Fjords National Park.

Kenai Fjords National Park, Resurrection Bay, killer whale, orca, orca whale

SEWARD — Kenai Fjords National Park is home to a large variety of wildlife, including humpback whales, sea lions, seals and smaller cetaceans like Dall porpoises and orcas, also known as killer whales.

There are three genetically distinct groups of orcas seen in Kenai Fjords National Park: resident, transient, and offshore. Resident orcas prefer to eat fish, especially silver salmon, and are most often seen in the area when salmon return.

One of the best times to see orcas in Kenai Fjords National Park is from mid-May to mid-June, and tour boats operating out of Seward offer half- and full-day excursions into the park. Major Marine Tours has a half-day “Orca Quest” tour, and Kenai Fjords Tours has recently reported orca sightings on their half-day “Gray Whale Watch” tour and the full-day “National Park” tour.

Resurrection Bay, sea otter
Kenai Fjords National Park, Resurrection Bay, killer whale, orca, orca whale
Kenai Fjords National Park, Resurrection Bay, puffin, tufted puffin
Black-legged Kittiwake, Resurrection Bay, kittiwake
Kenai Fjords National Park, Resurrection Bay, killer whale, orca, orca whale, spyhop, spyhopping
Kenai Fjords National Park, Resurrection Bay, humpback whale, whale
Kenai Fjords National Park, Resurrection Bay, killer whale, orca, orca whale
Kenai Fjords National Park, Resurrection Bay, mountain goat
Resurrection Bay, sea lion
Kenai Fjords National Park, Resurrection Bay, harbor seal, seal
Kenai Fjords National Park, Resurrection Bay, killer whale, orca, orca whale
Kenai Fjords National Park, Resurrection Bay, killer whale, orca, orca whale
Kenai Fjords National Park, Resurrection Bay, killer whale, orca, orca whale
Cormorant, Kenai Fjords National Park, Resurrection Bay
Black-legged Kittiwake, Resurrection Bay, kittiwake
Kenai Fjords National Park, Resurrection Bay, killer whale, orca, orca whale

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that Kenai Fjords National Park is not designated as a national preserve.

Loren Holmes

Loren Holmes is a staff photojournalist at the Anchorage Daily News. Contact him at loren@adn.com.