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Hump back whales St Helena

St Helena’s Humpback Whale season is in full swing

The Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) are back! Migrating through our waters between the winter months of June to December, our Humpback visitors come to St Helena to give birth to their calves. Quite often the mother and calf can be seen passing James Bay close inshore.

humpback whale in the distance on St Helena by Megan Vass

Photo c/o Megan Vass

Reaching an age of up to 50 years, their length as adults is usually around 11.5 to 15 metres, and weight around 25 to 30 tonnes. Their usual dive time is three to five minutes, although this can go up to 35 minutes. Each individual can be identified by the unique pattern on the underside of its tail.

humpack whale breaching at St Helena by Megan Vass

Photo c/o Megan Vass

The Humpback is a whale-bone whale, meaning it has no teeth, but instead has ‘teeth’ fronds of baleen, which hang down from the rim of the upper jaw. It feeds by swimming open-mouthed into shoals of plankton which are trapped behind the fronds.

humpback whale lobtailing at St Helena by Tracey Williams

Photo c/o Tracey Williams

They are one of the most energetic of the large whales, famous for spectacular breaching, lobtailing and flipper-slapping.  At close range its knobbly head and long flippers are unmistakable.

Here are some images of recent whale trips around St Helena!

humpback whale at St Helena by Tracey Williams

Photo c/o Tracey Williams

Read more about our marvellous marine life.

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