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Whale Watching Season

Updated on April 23, 2018
Pamela99 profile image

All types of animals, birds & insecs are very interesting. Many are under attack, but many people like to learn everything about nature.

Whale Watching Season

The endangered Atlantic right whales have made the long trek from Canada and New England down the Atlantic Coast to waters off South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Five of these right whale calves have been spotted flanked by their whale calves.

The ocean this year has not been favorable for these whales due to high winds and not unseasonably cold weather. Last year 39 babies were spotted in the entire calving zone which was a record since survey flights began in 1984.

You can also note a large variety of whales migrating in oceans and seas around the world.

Baby Calve

This mom and baby were spotted off St. Simons Island.
This mom and baby were spotted off St. Simons Island.

Whale Facts

An estimated 300-400 right whales exist since they were almost hunted to extinction. The International Whaling Commission banned the practice in 1949. The more recent threats are ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear. While the regions have rules in place to protect the whales it is difficult to enforce water speeds. It takes four calves to replace one adult female right whale, so safety is extremely important.

These massive mammals weighting up to 70 tons and measuring 35-55 feet long in adulthood journey south to calm waters each year. This is the only know calving ground in the Atlantic Ocean. They begin arriving in December and stay until March or April.

Orca - Killer Whales

Source

Orca Whale Facts

Orca whales are called the killer whales. They do not particularly attak human beings, but they have the ability to take down large marine animals, such as sea lions and smaller whales.

Their huge teeth can grow to 4 inches long, so they can attack other animals easier, so they will prey on most any available animals. They are known to eat " sea birds, squid, octopuses, sea turtles, sharks, rays and fish".

Orcas are the largest known species of the dolphin family, and they are know for their dorsal fins, which are black and white. Behind the dorsal fin, their is a gray area, which is called the saddle as it looks like a saddle.

They grow from 23-37 feet long, and they weigh up to 6 tons. The longest Orca ever recorded was 37 feet long.

The Orcas live in oceans and seas surrounding most coastal countries. They have been know to travel long distances, from 2,000 kilometers (more than 1,200 miles).

The gestation period typically lasts for 17 months, and they nurse for 5-10 secids at a time several times each hour. They are typically 8.5 feet long, and they weigh 265 to 353 pounds.

Since they tend to be very social animals, they live in groups called pods. They also hunt together. They can beach themselves, and then jump into the water to catch their prey.

Whale Watchers

Many people volunteer and are trained to identify whales and report their sightings. They can be identified by the rough, white patches of skin on their heads called Callosites. In is illegal to be within 500 yards of a right whale.

Anyone can call the hot line 1-888-979- 4253 to report a whale sighting. Among the data researchers dissect is fertility, so the mothers and babies are carefully recorded. Many people love to watch the whales and classes are held from South Carolina to Daytona Beach. To volunteer between St. Augustine and Daytona Beach, contact Marineland at marinelandrightwhate@gmail.com or call 1-904-461-4058 .

Whale with Water Spouting

Humpback Whale

Source

Humpack Whale Facts

Humpback whales are are part of the family of the blue whale, fin whale. Females tend to be larger than the males at 45-58 feet, while the males are 40-48 feet. They feed on animals sich as, shrimp-like and small fish, but they consume whopping 1.5 tons of food daily. They have no teeth as their baleen plates capture their food.

The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach and US Coast Guard have some concern about surfers in the Pacific Ocean as these whales get quite close to them. They are capable of lifting their 40 tons completely out of their water, so they are consider acrobatic.

Their breeding grown where they care for their young is in warm waters of Tonga. However, they are capable of migrating from from Antartica well up into the Pacific Ocean.

They sing songs that are rather comples, but each population has their own songs. This is not inborn, as they learn from the group.

Whale Watching

In Conclusion

Whales are fascinating to watch. If you live in an area near whales don't miss the opportunity; grab your binoculars and attend a class.

Many types have whales have been over hunted. For instance, the Orca has often been killed by fisherman as they see them as competition that must be killed to protect the fish population. This is sad, and hopefully restrictions will save all the varies species of whales.

Many people take vacations to areas where they can view the whales migrating.

The copyright, renewed in 2018, for this article is owned by Pamela Oglesby. Permission to republish this article in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.

Comments

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  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    7 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Sherrylou, I am glad you enjoyed the hub. Thanks for your comment.

  • sherrylou57 profile image

    sherrylou57 

    7 years ago from Riverside

    Hi pamela, I like the whales. Thank you for this great hub.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Habee, Whales are so unique and I wish I had seen more of them. Thanks for your comment.

  • habee profile image

    Holle Abee 

    8 years ago from Georgia

    I've seen only one whale "in person." That was off Fernandina Beach. Enjoyed the read!

  • K Partin profile image

    K Partin 

    8 years ago from Garden City, Michigan

    Thanks for the hub Pam, this is something my wife and I will do now that we retired...they are amazing to watch I bet. K.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Jack, Guru and Roberta, I appreciate the comments. Guru,it must have been beautiful in the blue Pacific. I get sea sick fairly easily also, although I do okay on cruises because I use the patch behind the ear. I would love to see them close up.

  • Roberta99 profile image

    Roberta99 

    8 years ago

    Very interesting article. Would love the chance to see

    them swimming in the ocean.

  • theguru-reports profile image

    theguru-reports 

    8 years ago from Montana

    The last time I went on a whale watching boat (on the west coast) it was an awesome event--for everyone else. I was trying to keep my stomach in place and not embarrass myself by getting sick in front of everyone.

    If you get the chance, I'd recommend it. Just don't eat till later.

    Thanks for the hub, Pamela

  • TnFlash profile image

    TnFlash 

    8 years ago from Tampa, Florida

    Excellent Hub! I haven't had the opportunity to see whales either but I'm sure it would be an awesome event. Good Work!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Thank you all for your comments. Whales have always fascinated me but I haven't seen them live in the ocean. I did have the opportunity to visit the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta and saw beluga white whales among other sea life and that was a great experience. If you get to Atlanta it is well worth the stop.

  • breakfastpop profile image

    breakfastpop 

    8 years ago

    Dear Pamela,

    Whales are magnificent creatures. I had the awesome pleasure of seeing one off a San Diego beach. I will never get over it. Great hub!

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 

    8 years ago from London, UK

    They are magnificient creatures and I loved that picture and your hub. Thank you.

  • ehern33 profile image

    ehern33 

    8 years ago

    Thanks for the info. I have never seen a whale up close and personal but it would be nice. It is a shame that their numbers are so few.

  • dohn121 profile image

    dohn121 

    8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

    Wow. I've never seen a whale live but would love to. The only whale I've seen is a stuffed one in a museum unfortunately. Thanks so much for sharing this, Pamela!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Tom, You sure found me quickly. Yes, I wondered about that because it is supposed to get to 24 tonight, its windy and that is very cold for Jacksonville, FL. I hope it won't hurt the whales since there are so few.

  • Tom Whitworth profile image

    Tom Whitworth 

    8 years ago from Moundsville, WV

    Pamela,

    I imagine this artic blast is very harsh for these whales.

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