Have you seen a humpback whale in Hawaii? They are just finishing the season in Alaska and will soon be returning to their beloved Hawaii. Start looking for them in November with the season peaking between January and March every year. Score one of our Hawaii deals and take part in this annual migration.
A friend of Beat of Hawaii once witnessed a Humpback whale giving birth while he was playing golf at Poipu. Let us know if you’ve had any memorable whale sightings on your Hawaii vacation.
Favorite ways to see a humpback whale.
1. Boat tours and whale watching cruises are one way. We have also seen them from NCL Pride of America and on the American Safari Cruises which uses skiffs to get up close.
2. Read our post Free Whale Watching in Hawaii for ideas on a budget. Bring your camera and try to capture an unforgettable moment.
3. The Sanctuary Ocean Count provides Hawai‘i residents and visitors with the opportunity to actively participate in evaluating the status of humpback whales. The count is held the last Saturday of January, February and March on the islands of O`ahu, Kaua`i and Hawai`i. Find out how you can get involved!
If you’re in Hawaii you may also spot Orcas, “killer whales.”
Orca sightings are more rare for sure. They are not Hawaii residents according to David Schofield of NOAA. “We don’t believe we have any resident killer whales or orcas here in Hawaii. They’re usually just kind of cruising through at different times of the year.”
The highly social carnivores are hunters although their diet varies widely. Orcas have no known predators. While found worldwide, in U.S. waters they are more typically associated with the colder Pacific Northwest to Alaska. In Hawaii, Orcas are joining a population of approximately 18,000 humpback whales that are commencing their 3,000 mile annual journey to Hawaii.
Humpback Whale Season in Hawaii
Nearly extinct in the mid 1960’s, the Humpback population has grown with global whaling bans but are still considered endangered. You can learn more about them and NOAA’s Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. The sanctuary serves to protect humpback whales and their habitat within Hawaii.
Were you here last year? During the 2015/2016 season the whales appeared later than normal.
Photo Credit: NOAA. Each year when I see Humpbacks, I hope to get this type of picture. So far it hasn’t happened. Have you had better luck?