Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Captain's Blog

A Guide To Different Whale Behaviors

whale diving under the ocean surface in Kauai

The whale is a majestic creature of the sea. These mammals are an important part of the ocean’s ecosystem and often serve as keystone species. Although there are many different types of whales in our oceans, they all share some similar behaviors. We will mostly discuss Humpback Whales since they’re common in Hawaii.

Ready to learn more about whale behaviors? Keep reading our guide below!

About The Humpback Whale

The humpback whale is one of the most commonly spotted whales in Hawaii. These creatures can often be seen breaching and slapping their fins on the surface of the water. They are also known for their beautiful songs, which they sing to communicate with other whales.

Humpback whales typically migrate to Hawaii in the winter months to escape colder waters. They can be found in all the main Hawaiian islands, but tend to favor Maui and Kauai. During their stay in Hawaii, humpback whales will feast on the abundance of fish here.

When you spot a humpback whale in Hawaii, please do not disturb them! These creatures are protected by law and it is illegal to harass them. If you see a whale breaching or slapping its fins, make sure to keep your distance and give them plenty of space to swim around freely!

Feeding Patterns Of Whales

While humpback whales are massive creatures, they feed on small fish and krill. Humpbacks often use bubble nets to surround schools of fish before consuming them in one mouthful! This is a very unique feeding behavior that can take some time for the whale to perfect.

In Hawaii, humpback whales typically feed on fish that live near the surface of the water. This includes species such as mahi-mahi, ahi, and ono. They will also feed on krill, which can be found in large numbers near the surface of the water, making them an easy target for these whales.

What The Whale Breaching Behavior Means

The humpback whale breaching behavior is one of the most impressive things you will see in nature. These creatures can often be seen jumping completely out of the water and landing back with a splash! This behavior is used by whales to communicate with other whales, as well as to show dominance over other males.

Breaching is also an effective way for humpback whales to catch prey. By jumping out of the water, they can surprise schools of fish and consume them in one quick movement!

If you are lucky enough to see a humpback whale breaching in Hawaii, make sure to keep your distance and enjoy this amazing sight! These creatures are truly something special to behold.

Whale Tail Slapping

Another common behavior you will see from humpback whales is tail slapping. This behavior is used by whales to communicate with other whales, as well as to show dominance over other males.

Tail slapping can also be used by humpback whales to stun prey before consuming them. By hitting the water with their tails, these creatures create a large splash that can scare fish into the open.

Vocalizations and Songs of Whales

The humpback whale is also known for its beautiful songs. These whales are capable of producing loud, long sounds to communicate with other whales over large distances!

Alongside these vocalizations, male humpback whales will produce a variety of different sounds including grunts and groans. They make these noises through air sacs located near the blowhole.

These vocalizations are a way for male humpback whales to attract potential mates and show off their strength. The loudest whale will typically win the female’s attention.

Swimming and Diving Behaviors

Humpback whales are massive creatures and they need to eat a lot of food in order to maintain their size. These creatures can dive for up to 30 minutes at a time, which helps them find prey hidden away on the ocean floor!

Humpback whales will often use their flippers to help them dive down into the water. They can also use their tail to propel themselves forward and quickly reach deep waters.

Make sure to keep your distance and give these creatures plenty of space while they are swimming and diving! They need to eat a lot of food in order to survive and you don’t want to get in their way!

Go Whale Watching With Kauai Sea Tours

Every December through March, hundreds of humpback whales migrate from Alaska to Hawaii to have babies and find mates. During this incredible voyage, whale watchers aboard Kauai Sea Tours can enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Book your whale watching boat tour of Kauai today!

  • Posted in: