Humpback whales are famous for their long migrations. The whales spend their summer months feeding in cold, rich waters near the poles. Then, each winter they travel thousands of miles to mate and calve in warmer waters near the equator. This is one of the longest known animal migrations on earth.
The whales that visit the Silver Bank are North Atlantic humpback whales. Many of these individuals are seen every year on whale watching cruises in northern waters. These summer feeding grounds include the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary off Massachusetts; the Gulf of Maine and the Bay of Fundy; the waters of Newfoundland and the Gulf of Saint Lawrence; Iceland; Greenland and even farther north.
Humpbacks start to arrive in the Dominican Republic in late December. Then they’ll spend as little as a week or up to 12 in the vicinity. Our whale watching season takes place at the height of activity on the Silver Bank.
Research has shown that humpbacks return to the same places each year to feed, mate and give birth. This is called site fidelity. Our staff and guests contribute to research efforts by photographing and identifying whales on the Silver Bank. It is rewarding, fun and important work to match whales to their summer and winter homes.