Guardian Nature School Team Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Project Noah Nature School visit nature school

Humpback Whale

Megaptera novaeangliae


Large robust body 50-56' (16-17m) long and 90,000 lb (40,000kg) males slightly smaller than females. Backs are dark with white or mottled bellies. Very long flippers 15' often white with dark marks. Underside of their tail or fluke can range in color from totally black to totally white with endless variations of pattern in between... individuals can be identified by the patterns on the underside of their tail. They are members of the Balaenoptera family have baleen and filter small fish and krill rather than having teeth like Orcas or dolphins.


This particular group of whales inhabit the North Atlantic. Breeding in the West Indies between January and March (Silver Bank North of Dominican Republic is a favorite breeding ground) and feeding in the cold rich waters of the Gulf of Maine, Eastern Canada, Greenland, Iceland and the North Sea.


He is listed as FLYER hwc#0183. In the Allied Whale catalog They hold the main catalog for North Atlantic whales and have identified over 6,000 whales! He is thought to be a male since he has not been seen with a calf and he is an "old timer" first seen in 1979. I saw him off Mt. Desert Rock on the

Species ID Suggestions

Sign in to suggest organism ID


Gabe39 6 years ago

It's awesome!!!

galewhale..Gale 11 years ago

It is indeed a wonderful place.

Jacob Gorneau
Jacob Gorneau 11 years ago

Ah, the beauties of Maine never fail to amaze me!

galewhale..Gale 11 years ago

1975... went to the first Marine Mammal conference in Bloomington Indiana and they gave an amazing presentation... I think it was one of their first years. (40 sounds right!)

LarryGraziano 11 years ago

Indeed it is! I think they are in their 40th year.

galewhale..Gale 11 years ago

Great behavior sighting! Is that near where Roger Payne (and Katy) did his/their research?

LarryGraziano 11 years ago

Sure have! We have a little home Puerto Piramides on the Peninsula. There is a large population there. I have spent about 4 months there during the height of the season over the past ten years. 3 years ago there was an amazing behavior spotted. a group of orcas were trying to kill a newborn calf. over twenty right whales got together to protect the calf and "fight" the orcas. the orcas realized they were outnumbered and moved on after about an hour.

galewhale..Gale 11 years ago

Thanks!! Yes we do have a very endangered population of Right whales (their name is pretty grim... they were the right whale to catch since the floated when harpooned). There are between 200-300 along the Northern Atlantic coast. Yes it is an amazing whale haven down there!! Have you spent time watching them?

LarryGraziano 11 years ago

beautiful shot Gale. do you guys get any northern wright whales up there? I see you only have humpbacks. I have seen the southern wright whales on numerous occasions in the Golfo Nuevo, peninsula valdes, argentina. That place would be your nirvana!!!!

galewhale..Gale 11 years ago

CNN interview about the importance of recognizing and studying individual whales.

Chris Carille
Chris Carille 12 years ago

Great spotting!

Spotted by

Maine, USA

Spotted on Sep 19, 2008
Submitted on Mar 17, 2011

Related Spottings

Humpback Whale Humpback Whale Humpback Whale Humpback Whale

Nearby Spottings

Humpback whale Humpback Whale Grey Seal Grey Seal


Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors
join Project Noah Team

Join the Project Noah Team