Subject: Humpback whales in Maryland

S. Jones (betej@u.washington.edu)
Fri, 31 Jul 1998 12:06:18 -0700 (PDT)

On Tue, 28 Jul 1998 FandR14@aol.com wrote:

> My name is Sarah Meadows, I am seven years old. I was fishing with my Dad
> today 35 miles south southwest of ocean city md. We saw a humpback whale. My
> question is when is the best time of year to see more whales off of ocean city
> MD?
> 
Dear Sarah,

In general, humpback whales on the east coast of the United States feed
during the summertime in the Gulf of Maine, Gulf of St. Lawrence,
Newfoundland and Labrador, western Greenland, and the Iceland-Denmark
strait.  After the summer is over, they migrate south to the Caribbean in
the winter to breed and have their offspring.  The whale you saw while you
were fishing might have been feeding farther south than the whales in the
Gulf of Maine.  It is possible that during their migration north,
humpbacks may stop to feed along the way if they find an area where their
food is abundant.  They might also stop to feed when they are heading
south for the winter.

All of the whales do not move together, so the one you saw might have been
either heading north, or heading south.  It is difficult to say.  But, the
best time of the year to see whales off Maryland or New England is in the
spring and fall.

Take care,
Bete