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Orca Weathervane

Killer Whale Weather Vane (Orcinus orca) Swimming


The Orca Weather Vane, Orcinus orca, aka Killer Whale Weather Vane featured in this image is constructed with a body of copper and optional gold leafed markings. This weathervane, in particular, is quite impressive once the copper has weathered a dark chocolate brown and the much lighter gold leaf stands out against it in striking contrast. The longer this vane is outdoors, the more dramatic its appearance.

A typical killer whale has a black back, white chest and sides, and a white patch above and behind the eye. Orcas have heavy and robust bodies with a large dorsal fin up to 2 m (6.6 ft) tall. Behind the fin, it has a dark grey “saddle patch” across the back.

An individual killer whale can often be identified from its dorsal fin and saddle patch. Variations such as nicks, scratches, and tears on the dorsal fin and the pattern of white or grey in the saddle patch are unique. Published directories contain identifying photographs and names for hundreds of North Pacific animals. If good photos are available, we can even match the markings of an individual Orca! We recently created an Orca Weathervane for a customer who requested the unique markings of the San Juan Islands, Washington pod.

Killer whales are highly social; some populations are composed of matrilineal family groups which are the most stable of any animal species. Their sophisticated hunting techniques and vocal behaviors, which are often specific to a particular group and passed across generations, have been described as manifestations of culture.