The Azores and Newfoundland are not connected by any of the known migration routes for humpback whales, and researchers in these areas would not have expected a humpback to travel from one to the other…but one did.

The whale, na04773 in the North Atlantic Humpback Whale Catalog was first seen off the Azores by Nova Atlantis. It was then seen in Newfoundland waters by Sea of Whales Adventures. The distance between these locations is comparable to that from New York to Houston, or London to Istanbul, about 2,500 km (1,500 miles).

While the Azores are along the mid-Atlantic Ridge, and very much in the middle of the ocean, all previous resightings have been to habitats in the eastern North Atlantic. Similarly, humpback whales from Newfoundland have only previously been seen in habitats much farther to the west.

Exciting news!


Thanks to Zoltan Korai for the great illustration.