Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘New York City’

Humpback Whale Spotted Last Week in Hudson River

Monday, December 14th, 2020

by Ethan Gilardi, Assistant Biologist

The Statue of Liberty had a surprise tourist last week!

A humpback whale was spotted in the Hudson River on December 7th & 8th in the vicinity of Liberty Island. Video and photos of the whale were posted to Twitter as boaters took notice of the large marine mammal.

New York City Parks Department confirmed the citing on their social media on Tuesday:

“Whale sightings have increased in recent years in N.Y.’s waterways. Reasons for the uptick may include an improvement in local water quality, & an abundance of food sources like Atlantic menhaden.”

New York City Parks Department

Marine wildlife education group, Gotham Whale, also posted about the sighting, tracking the animal during it’s visit and urging boaters to exercise caution while traveling on the Hudson.

Humpback whales are a rare sight in the Hudson, but are hard to miss due to their size and perchance to show off by frequently surfacing and breaching. The last humpback to find it’s way to the Hudson was in 2016, when a humpback took up a week long residence in the busy waterway.

Learn more about these amazing creatures in CWF’s field guide!

Humpback Whales Increasing in Waters Near NYC

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

By: Lindsay McNamara, Communications Coordinator

Humpback Whale feeding off New York City's Rockaway Peninsula. Photo Credit: BBC News

Humpback Whale feeding off New York City’s Rockaway Peninsula. Photo Credit: BBC News

Humpback Whales were spotted 87 times from whale-watching boats near New York City this year, and by cataloging the whales’ markings, at least 19 different humpbacks have been identified in the waters off the city. Naturalists aboard whale-watching boats have seen humpbacks in the Atlantic Ocean within a mile of the Rockaway peninsula, part of New York’s borough of Queens, within sight of Manhattan’s skyscrapers.


In 2012, there were 15 sightings; in 2013, 33; and this year there were 87 sightings totaling 106 humpbacks.


It’s not crystal clear why humpbacks, which can be 50 feet long and weigh 40 tons, are returning to New York’s shores, where they were abundant before they and other whale species were nearly destroyed by whaling.


Associated Press Reporter Jim Fitzgerald investigates the sightings:


Learn more:

Lindsay McNamara is the Communications Coordinator for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.