The humpback whale is one of the largest baleen whales that you are most likely to see in Greenland. It can be 15-17 metres long and weigh up to 35 tonnes. It is easily recognisable from other whales by its up to 5-metre long flippers. Typically, also by its sensory nodes on the head and distinct tail flukes with a white underside, which it often displays before diving.
The humpback whale is very plump, heart-shaped and about 3 metres high. It likes to jump right out of the water and land with a huge splash.
During the summer (April-November), the humpback whale eats enormous amounts of krill and small fish in Greenland waters, often in fjords and close to land. Just like the fin whale, it can fish underwater with an open mouth, and it also has a unique technique where the whales work together to blow air bubbles out under or around shoals of krill and fish, whereby they are trapped inside and more easily caught.
The population of Greenland humpback whales is at least 6,000 animals, and almost all meet in winter in one specific location in the Caribbean, namely the Silver Bank off the Dominican Republic. It is a journey of over 6,000 km each way, every year. They mate under the warmer skies, and the following year, the female gives birth to a calf measuring 4-5 metres and weighing 1.5 tonnes.