Utah Field Guide – Humpback whales

Humpback whales are often seen just minutes from Pybus Point Lodge and are a favorite of guests as they perform spectacular aerial displays, like this young whale we caught breaching.

In the summer, humpbacks are found in high latitude feeding grounds in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. In the winter, they migrate to calving grounds and are known to travel three to five thousand miles each way.

During the summer months, humpbacks spend the majority of their time feeding and building up fat stores that they will live off of during the winter. Humpbacks filter feed on tiny crustaceans (mostly krill), plankton, and small fish and can consume up to 3,000 pounds of food per day.

Humpback whales are well known for their long “pectoral” fins, which can be up to 15 feet in length. These long fins give them increased maneuverability; they can be used to slow down or even go backwards.
Similar to all baleen whales, adult females are larger than adult males, reaching lengths of up to 60 feet (18 m).

For more information on whales or any other creature found in Alaska or Utah, check out our Utah Field Guide on the web, you’ll find it at KSLTV.com.

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