Humpbacks In Flight, Mid-Morning Delight

By Kelsey Howe on Friday, August 21, 2020

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Breaching together! Photo: Amy Warren/ACCOL

We recently calculated that our team members have spent a combined 100 years(!) on the water studying marine mammals, and they never cease to delight and surprise us. While North Atlantic right whales are our focus, we are still collecting data on other species. On the morning of August 14, two separate species put on a show for us. First up, was a pod of Atlantic white-sided dolphins who joined us for a bow-ride (surfing the wave created off the bow of a moving boat) which was made even cooler by the clarity of the water.

Soon afterwards, we came upon a group of three logging (resting at the surface) humpback whales, who we identified as Partition, Ridgeline, and Squiggle. As we watched, a fourth interloper came along, known as Blanco, and startled them awake, causing the sleepy trio to breach simultaneously! Amy K. caught it on video- check it out!

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White-sided dolphins bow riding

A small pod of Atlantic white-sided dolphins ride the bow wave of our boat during a North Atlantic right whale survey in the Bay of Fundy.


three humpback whales surfacing
Three logging humpbacks prior to breaching. Photo: Marianna Hagbloom/ACCOL
Breaching together! Photo: Amy Warren/ACCOL

This encounter was amazing to observe and delighted our veteran group of whale biologists to no end. It also highlights the best part of our field work: the ocean is full of surprises and you never know what you might witness every time you leave the dock.

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Trio of Breaching Humpbacks!

Three humpback whales breach in succession during a North Atlantic right whale survey in the Bay of Fundy.


Photo: Amy Warren/ACCOL
Photo: Marianna Hagbloom/ACCOL
This work is made possible in part by the generosity of Irving Oil, lead sponsor of the New England Aquarium’s North Atlantic Right Whale Research Program.



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