Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)

The humpback whale is a species found in all oceans, migrating up to 25’000 km each year. Humpbacks feed in polar waters and mate and give birth in tropical and subtropical waters.

How to Identify

If lucky, I see them breaching the water surface and with a glimpse on their long, uniquely shaped, thin pectoral fins they are easy to identify. Also, the way how they jump and fall back is a good clue. If they surface only to breath, the small dorsal fins and the characteristic display of the tail fin are hints.

Where and When to Spot

I saw them on a boat trip near Tadoussac in the middle of Saint Lawrence River, and frequently from the beach along the coast near St. John’s, NL where they can get pretty close to the beach.

Common Names

Humpback Whale

Buckelwal (de)
Gubarta (es)
Baleine à Bosse (fr)


Megaptera novaeangliae