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Beautiful Humpback Whales In The Area

Stewy's avatar

Animal Updates | Mammals | Whale Watching

Thursday, December 07, 2017

James S.

2 humpback whales at surface - popup
2 humpback whales at surface Aquarium of the Pacific

Migrating humpback whales are hanging out in the area still. The weather currently makes it a little harder to spot anything out on the water, but they’re still out there. Looking over our photos of dorsal fins and flukes of the humpbacks we might have had 8 or more humpbacks hanging out where we were able to spot them. The “super moon” was also a great sight over the last weekend, we were glad that it wasn’t too hazy or cloudy to spot the full moon over the hills on our 3pm trip. And best of all we spotted a blue whale briefly! Unfortunately we weren’t able to get any pictures of it, but still fun to see such diversity out on the water right now.

Like we talked about last blog, humpback whales are moving through the area on their way to Mexico and Central America to warmer waters for the winter. Almost like our blue whale season where the whales hang out and feed before they continue to move south, the humpbacks have taken up the same behavior this November and December. We recorded the presence of one particular humpback with a very unique fluke. It is missing about one third up to almost half of its tail, potentially from predator interactions. If you look at the pictures there are some think rake marks on the fluke, most likely from orca teeth, but we couldn’t say how exactly the humpback lost the major portion of its tail. The interesting behavior we observed from this whale is that it was traveling with another humpback every day that we found it, and they almost perfectly fluked and dove at the same time. It made for some spectacular photo opportunities for our whale watch enthusiasts.

We’re also going to highlight our next intern this week, Laura. Laura moved here from New York to participate in our program. Thank you so much for making the move Laura!

My name is Laura and I am one of the fall Marine Mammal Photo ID Interns. I’m from Tarrytown, NY and I’m currently enrolled as a senior at SUNY Maritime College, set to graduate in January 2018. My major is Marine Environmental Science with a Marine Biology minor. I chose this internship because of my love for both photography and studying marine animals. My favorite part of this internship has been being able to photography these incredible cetaceans in their natural habitat. I hope to pursue a career path that positively impacts the marine environment and protects those that live within it.

If you haven’t made plans to get out on a whale watch during the holiday season, don’t worry the trips run every day at 12 and 3pm! Book your next trip and come on down to Long Beach to visit the Aquarium of the Pacific and Harbor Breeze Cruises to get a chance to see these beautiful animals in their local habitat.

See you on the water!