Humpback Whale - The Humpback Whales of British Columbia, Canada. Whale Watching in BC


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British Columbia Outdoor Wilderness Guide


Humpback Whale
Megaptera novaeangliae


Description - The humpback whale is black with white patches on the flippers, bottom surface of the tail flukes and body; it is identified by this unique back and white pattern. Males average 47 feet; females, 49 feet. Weight ranges from 25-45 tons. The head is flattened and the flippers are the biggest of any species.

Distribution - The humpback whales summering grounds extend from British Columbia to much of the Gulf of Alaska and the winter off of Baja, California and Hawaii. Formerly, they were abundant along the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Biology - They are highly acrobatic animals who breach repeatedly and have a spectacular blow of 10-13 feet ending in a beautiful haze of spray. They feed on krill and schooling fish such as herring, mackerel and cod. The humpback is usually found in small groups but have been known to be as large as 200. They mate every 2+ years and after a years gestation period a 15 foot, 2 ton calf is born. Due to commercial whaling, less than 2000 humpback whales are found in the northern Pacific. Now an endangered and protected species, the numbers are slowly increasing. Fortunately, many humpbacks are accessible for whale watching tours.


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Humpback Whale - The Humpback Whales of British Columbia, Canada. Whale Watching in BC