Description: Although humpback whales can swim to any coastline in the United States, only Hawaii and Alaska have large populations of humpback whales appearing regularly each year.
From December to March, Pacific humpback whales call the waters around the Hawaiian Islands home. They feed and breed off the warm coast. On a clear day with a pair of binoculars, you can spot a humpback whale from the shore.
At the beginning of spring, the Pacific humpback whale population begins their 3,000 mile journey to their summer feeding grounds off the Alaskan coast. It is one of the longest migrations in the animal world. The humpback whales will feed around Alaska all summer then make the reverse migration back to Hawaii. They go months without eating; only living on stored fat reserves.
If you live in Hawaii during the winter or Alaska during the summer, try to head to the shoreline or get a spot on a whale-watching boat. It’s an incredible experience to get an up close look, in-person look at one of these amazing and graceful animals.
Habitat and Range: Humpback whales can be seen offshore from all the Hawaiian Islands in winter. The Humpback Whale Marine Sanctuary is the waters around the Big Island, Maui, Kaua’i and O’ahu to 600 feet in depth. In Alaska, look for the whales in summer around the entire southern coast.