Humpback Whales’ Incredible Migration Patterns | Alaska Whale Watch

by | Oct 5, 2022

Humpback Whales and Their Incredible Migration Patterns

Every year, humpback whales undertake an epic journey. They travel hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of miles from their feeding grounds in the cold polar waters to the warm sheltered waters where they mate and give birth. This migration is one of the longest journeys made by any mammal on earth. But exactly how do these giant creatures find their way? Let’s take a look.

How Humpback Whales Migrate

Humpback whales use a variety of methods to migrate. One is called “passive drift.” This is when young whales are carried along by ocean currents. Another method is called “active swimming.” This is when more experienced whales choose to swim against the currents in order to reach their destination faster.

But perhaps the most fascinating method of migration used by humpback whales is called ” tidal streaming.” Tidal streaming occurs when a whale uses its massive body to create a wave. The wave propels the whale forward and can even lift it out of the water for short periods of time!

Why Do Humpback Whales Migrate?

Humpback whales migrate for two main reasons: to find food and to mate. In the winter, humpback whales feed on krill, small shrimp-like creatures that live in the cold waters near Antarctica. But as winter turns to spring, the krill begin to migrate north towards warmer waters. The humpback whales must follow if they want to continue to have enough to eat.

Humpback whales also migrate to mate. During the winter, male humpbacks sing long songs that can last for hours at a time. These songs attract females who are ready to mate. Once a female has been found, the two whales will travel together for a period of time before going their separate ways again.

Humpback whale migration is an amazing natural phenomenon. These creatures undertook one of the longest journeys made by any mammal on earth in order to find food and mates. And they use some pretty fascinating methods of navigation too! The next time you see a humpback whale, remember that it’s on an incredible journey – one that takes it thousands of miles away from its home every year.

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