How do you identify a North Atlantic Right Whale?

First, where does one go to encounter these whales? North Atlantic right whales are exactly where their name states, the North Atlantic ocean. Being found in the coastal waters of New England, these whales can range from Canada, offshore and when expecting a calf, waters between South Carolina-Florida. Although they wander close to shore (they are nicknamed the “urban whale”), many by passers will go without ever witnessing these magnificent creatures in their lifetimes. This is due in part to the fact that there are less than 400 North Atlantic right whales in existence. 

How do you Identify Humpback Whales?

An essential skill when observing whales is the ability of being able to know not only the type of whale you have encountered, but who exactly. By individualizing every whale that we come across, it allows us to monitor their evolution over time which allows us to understand the quality of life they experience. Many distinct … Continue reading How do you Identify Humpback Whales?

Do whale watching boats bother the whales?

While watching whales from a vessel, you may often wonder if the whales know that you are there. If so, does it bother them?  The short answer: It would be great if we could ask the whales themselves! But, until then, we have to interpret their behavior in the presence of vessels and physiology to … Continue reading Do whale watching boats bother the whales?

How are whales protected in the United States?

When you hear that whales are “protected”, what first comes to mind?  Of course, physical walls or barriers would never work for animals that spend their life in the wild and always on the move. Instead, laws to set these determine these boundaries.  Photo: Lilli Mack What are we protecting whales from?  The word, “protect” … Continue reading How are whales protected in the United States?

Ask the Naturalist: How long can a whale hold its breath?

As mammals, all whale species have to breathe air. This is good for whale watchers, because otherwise we’d hardly ever get to see these animals who spend the majority of their life underwater! It's these short moments at the surface of the water that we get to watch them! But, sometimes as quickly as they … Continue reading Ask the Naturalist: How long can a whale hold its breath?