Humpback Whales in Alaska

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    Circle of Bubbles from Bubble-Net Feeding Humpback Whales

    Circle of Bubbles from Bubble-Net Feeding Humpback Whales
    ••• See Humpback Whales on Alaska Cruises Circle of Bubbles from Bubble-Net Feeding Humpback Whales. Humpback Whales (c) Linda Garrison

    Humpback Whales Routinely Perform for Alaskan Tourists

    The humpback whale is the type most frequently seen swimming or feeding close to shore along the southeastern coast of Alaska. Cruise ship guests see many whales on Inside Passage cruises, but the largest numbers of humpbacks seem to often be concentrated in Frederick Sound near Petersburg.

    When beginning to dive, humpback whales often lift their flukes (tails) out of the water when they dive deeply, exposing a distinctive pattern of black and white, which is used by biologists to identify individual animals. When feeding, humpbacks appear to be frolicking, rolling and blowing in groups. They also breach the surface frequently, doing huge belly flops as they slam back into the sea.

    When feeding, humpbacks may stay submerged for as long as 30 minutes, but most dives do not last longer than 15 minutes. After diving, humpbacks rest on the surface, blowing every few seconds. One phenomenon that fascinates everyone is "bubble-net"...MORE feeding. The whales work cooperatively to trap fish in a huge circle of bubbles. Then, they zip upwards through the school of trapped fish with their huge mouths wide open. The water filters out through the comb-like baleen lining the mouth, but the fish are trapped. Amazing to watch!

    Alaskan humpbacks winter in Hawaii, but they do not feed anywhere but in Alaska. While moving to and from Hawaii, the huge mammals do not feed. They breed and bear their young in Hawaii, but do not feed there, either. Since adults range from 40-55 feet in length and weigh many tons, they certainly have to feed all summer long!

    This circle of bubbles arises from bubble-net feeding humpback whales just before the group breaks the surface of the water.

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    Bubble-Net Feeding Humpback Whales in Alaska

    Bubble-Net Feeding Humpback Whales in Alaska
    ••• See Humpback Whales on Alaska Cruises Bubble-Net Feeding Humpback Whales in Alaska. Bubble-Net Feeding Humpback Whales in Alaska
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  • 03 of 22

    Bubble-Net Feeding Humpback Whales in Alaska

    Bubble-Net Feeding Humpback Whales in Alaska
    ••• See Humpback Whales on Alaska Cruises Bubble-Net Feeding Humpback Whales in Alaska. Humpback Whales (c) Linda Garrison
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    Humpback Whales Bubble-Net Feeding

    Humpback Whales Bubble-Net Feeding
    ••• See Humpback Whales on Alaska Cruises Humpback Whales Bubble-Net Feeding. Humpback Whales (c) Linda Garrison
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    Humpback Whales Feeding near Small Cruise Ship

    Humpback Whales Feeding near Small Cruise Ship
    ••• See Humpback Whales on Alaska Cruises Humpback Whales Feeding near Small Cruise Ship. Humpback Whales (c) Linda Garrison

    These feeding humpback whales came very near the small ship the Wilderness Discoverer of InnerSea Discoveries.

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    Feeding Humpback Whales

    Feeding Humpback Whales
    ••• See Humpback Whales on Alaska Cruises Feeding Humpback Whales. Humpback Whales (c) Linda Garrison

    These humpback whales appear to be frolicking, but they are actually feeding.

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  • 07 of 22

    Humpback Whales Bubble-Net Feeding

    Humpback whales bubble-net feeding in Alaska
    ••• See Humpback Whales on Alaska Cruises Humpback whales bubble-net feeding in Alaska. Humpback Whales (c) Linda Garrison
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  • 08 of 22

    Humpback Whale Fin and Fluke

    Humpback Whale Fin and Fluke
    ••• See Humpback Whales on Alaska Cruises Humpback Whale Fin and Fluke. Humpback Whales (c) Linda Garrison
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  • 09 of 22

    Humpback Whale Fluke

    Humpback Whale Fluke
    ••• See Humpback Whales on Alaska Cruises Humpback Whale Fluke. Humpback Whales (c) Linda Garrison
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    Spyhopping Humpback Whale

    Spyhopping Humpback Whale
    ••• See Humpback Whales on Alaska Cruises Spyhopping Humpback Whale. Humpback Whales (c) Linda Garrison

    When whales are spyhopping, they appear to be checking out their surroundings. It almost looks like they are bobbing up and down or treading water.

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    Humpback Whale in Frederick Sound, Alaska

    Humpback Whale in Frederick Sound, Alaska
    ••• Humpback Whale in Frederick Sound, Alaska. Humpback Whale Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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    Humpback Whale Tail (Fluke) in Alaska

    Humpback Whale Tail (Fluke) in Alaska
    ••• Cruising Alaska's Inside Passage on the Cruise West Spirit of Yorktown Humpback Whale Tail (Fluke) in Alaska. Humpback Whale Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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    Humpback Whale Fluke in Alaska

    Humpback Whale Fluke in Alaska
    ••• Cruising Alaska's Inside Passage Humpback Whale Fluke in Alaska. Humpback Whale Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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    Humpback Whales Rolling and Blowing in Frederick Sound, Alaska

    Humpback Whales Rolling and Blowing in Frederick Sound, Alaska
    ••• Humpback Whales Are Often Seen on Alaska Inside Passage Cruises Humpback Whales Rolling and Blowing in Frederick Sound, Alaska. Humpback Whale Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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    Humpback Whale Fluke (Tail)

    Humpback Whale Fluke (Tail)
    ••• Cruising Alaska's Inside Passage on the Cruise West Spirit of Yorktown Humpback Whale Fluke (Tail). Humpback Whale Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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    Humpback Whales Blowing in Alaska

    Humpback Whales Blowing in Alaska
    ••• Cruising Alaska's Inside Passage on the Cruise West Spirit of Yorktown Humpback Whales Blowing in Alaska. Humpback Whale Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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    Humpback Whale

    Humpback Whale
    ••• Cruising Alaska's Inside Passage on the Cruise West Spirit of Yorktown Humpback Whale. Humpback Whale Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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    Humpback Whales in the Inside Passage of Alaska

    Humpback Whales in the Inside Passage of Alaska
    ••• Cruising Alaska on the Cruise West Spirit of Yorktown Humpback Whales in the Inside Passage of Alaska. Humpback Whale Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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    Humpback Whales in Alaska

    Humpback Whales in Alaska
    ••• Humpback Whales Are Often Seen on Alaska Inside Passage Cruises Humpback Whales in Alaska. Humpback Whale Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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    Humpback Whale in Frederick Sound, Alaska

    Humpback Whale
    ••• Cruising Alaska's Inside Passage on the Cruise West Spirit of Yorktown Humpback Whale. Humpback Whale Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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    Humpback Whale Fluke

    Humpback Whale Fluke
    ••• Cruising Alaska's Inside Passage Humpback Whale Fluke. Humpback Whale Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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    Humpback Whale Splash

    Humpback Whale Splash
    ••• Humpback Whale Breeches Surface, All I Get PHoto of Is BIG Splash! Humpback Whale Splash. Humpback Whale Photo (c) Linda Garrison