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Bring on the Humpback Whales

Stewy's avatar

Animal Updates | Mammals | Whale Watching

Friday, March 29, 2019

James S.

Humpback lunge feeding at the surface, water splashing out of its mouth - popup
Aquarium of the Pacific

I hope everyone has been staying dry, unless you’ve been on a whale watch where you’ll have to get a little rainy to see all the amazing things there has been in the last few weeks. Plenty of lunge feeding or breaching humpbacks, breaching and feeding grays, as well as plenty of dolphins!

Gray whale season has recently seen a huge event of whales passing by the American Cetacean Society census at Point Vicente. March and April are when we see the northbound flow of gray whales, lead by the adult males and solo females and followed up by cow/calf pairs. There’s plenty of migration season left for you to come down and see the baby gray whales traveling with their mothers. The numbers of cow/calves being spotted on our whale watches has even piqued the interest of one of our photo ID interns to further investigate whether or not there’s been a significant shift in the timeline when gray whale calves are spotted during the migration. With there being a noticeable number of southbound newborn grays whale researchers and observers have been investigating the conditions causing the apparent shift in when newborn calves are spotted.

Now if you are a fin whale fan, like me, then you have probably noticed the lack of fin whale photos in the last few months. If we have seen the fantastic conditions for feeding humpbacks then it stands to reason there’s been a strong fin whale presence this winter like we’ve had in other winters during La Nina events, or climate similar thereof. It is possible the fin whales are out there in the channel, either farther out than we have been going to watch the humpbacks and the grays, or they are on the outside region of the islands where we can’t reach in a timely manner.

I hope you enjoy all the amazing pictures our interns have collected and if you want the chance to experience this come on down to Long Beach! Get your combo ticket to the Aquarium of the Pacific and a whale watch with Harbor Breeze Cruises. Explore over 10,000 animals on display and then discover the beauty and diversity of the San Pedro Channel.

See you on the water!