# Common Whale Species You Can See In Juneau Alaska

Are you looking for an adventure with some of the most majestic creatures in Alaska? Look no further than Juneau! With its diverse range of whale species, it’s sure to be a truly unforgettable experience.

You’ll have the chance to see some of the largest animals on earth and learn about their fascinating behaviors. From orcas to beluga whales, there’s something for everyone in Juneau.

Let’s take a look at some of the common whale species in Juneau you can expect to see during your visit.

Harbor Porpoises

Gliding silently through the crisp Alaskan waters, harbor porpoises make for a mesmerizing sight. These small cetaceans are generally found in cooler temperate and sub-arctic waters, making Juneau the perfect place to spot them on their seasonal migration routes.

Harbor porpoises have streamlined bodies with dark grey backs and lighter bellies, which help them blend into their environment and feed on nearby fish and mollusks. They tend to hunt alone or in small pods of two or three, but some can be found swimming alongside larger groups of whales during their migration.

The feeding habits of these animals vary depending on the availability of food sources along their route. In Juneau, harbor porpoises may be spotted near rocky outcroppings as they look for an easy meal in shallow water.

Humpback Whales

Humpback Whales are awe-inspiring creatures. They have a unique physical appearance with a long, streamlined body and distinctive hump and dorsal fin. Their behavior is fascinating as well.

They are known to migrate hundreds of miles each year to feed in the cold waters of Alaska’s coastlines – from shallow bays to deep ocean depths.

Physical Characteristics

You can spot a variety of majestic sea creatures in Juneau, Alaska – each boasting their own unique physical characteristics.

Humpback whales are no exception to this rule and they’re easily recognizable by their size. They can grow up to 50 feet long and weigh up to 40 tons. Their long pectoral fins can reach up to 15 feet in length.

Their coloration varies from black or grey backs with white bellies and flippers. Their skin is covered with knobs, bumps, or tubercles that help them maneuver while diving.

Humpback whales use their physical features for more than just looks; they employ certain techniques like breaching or lobtailing as part of their hunting methods. As such, they’ve adapted over the years with skin color that helps them blend into the environment when necessary.

While in motion, these animals sway gracefully through the water due to their streamlined body outline and powerful flukes capable of propelling themselves forward at great speeds. With all these features combined, humpbacks prove themselves quite the impressive sight among other whale species found in Juneau’s waters.

Moving on from physical characteristics, let’s explore how humpbacks behave and where they call home.

Behavior and Habitat

Discovering the behavior and habitat of humpback whales is an exciting way to explore the fascinating creatures that call Juneau home.

Humpback whales are migratory animals, typically traveling from Alaska to Mexico during winter months for mating and calving. During summer months, they return to Alaska waters to feed on plankton and krill in areas with abundant food sources such as glacial fjords, bays, and nearshore habitats. These feeding habits attract a number of humpbacks to Juneau’s waters, where they can be observed in their natural environment.

Humpback whales also engage in bubble net feeding, a unique method of eating where individual whales collaborate with one another by forming tight circles around schools of fish before blowing bubbles which force the fish into larger masses for easier consumption. This behavior has been documented off the coast of Juneau and provides a spectacular sight for local whale watchers.

Moving on from humpbacks, let’s take a look at orcas in Juneau’s waters.


Witnessing orcas swimming gracefully in the waters around Juneau is an experience you won’t soon forget.

Orcas, also known as killer whales, are apex predators and have a diverse dietary habits ranging from fish to larger mammals such as seals and even whales. They live in complex social groups that are based on matrilines with strong bonds between family members. Orcas use various communication methods such as clicks, whistles, and pulsed calls for social interaction among others.

Echolocation when searching for prey. Vocalizing to identify themselves to each other. Gestures such as breaching out of water or slapping their tails against the surface.

In Juneau, orcas can be seen year-round but peak season is usually during spring and summer months. You can go whale watching tours to observe them up close and witness their amazing behaviors like spyhopping or lobtailing which they use to communicate with each other or just show off!

As you take in the beauty of these majestic creatures swimming around you, consider how important it is to protect them so future generations may also have the chance to experience this awe-inspiring sight.

Gray Whales

Experience the remarkable journey of the majestic gray whale as it passes through Juneau on its annual migration.

Every year during the summer months, these gentle giants migrate from their feeding grounds in the Bering and Chukchi seas to their breeding grounds in Mexico’s warm waters. The gray whales follow a complex route that changes slightly each year, although they usually pass by Juneau sometime between April and September.

Gray whales feed mainly on benthic organisms such as amphipods, worms, and crustaceans living at the bottom of oceans and seas. They use their baleen plates to filter out these tiny creatures from mud or sand stirred up by powerful suction created when they expel water through their blowholes.

These whales can dive for several minutes at a time to depths of up to 1,640 feet!

As they make this yearly trek along Alaska’s coastlines, you have a chance to witness them passing by Juneau in all of their splendor.

Beluga Whales

Come witness the awe-inspiring beluga gliding through the waters near Juneau – its unique white coloration and melodious calls are sure to delight!

Belugas are easily recognized by their distinctive white coloring. They can be found in social groups of two to 15 individuals, typically with one dominant male. Belugas have a wide variety of vocalizations, including clicks, whistles, chirps, and squeals. These sounds allow them to communicate with each other over long distances so they can coordinate movements within their social group.

Belugas are one of the few cetaceans that live in freshwater habitats as well as saltwater; many of them migrate between northern Arctic regions and more temperate areas like Juneau during spring and summer months. Aside from being highly sociable creatures, they also possess an advanced level of intelligence which allows for complex behaviors such as hunting cooperatively or playing games with humans.

From watching beluga pods hunt together to hearing their enchanting song, witnessing these majestic creatures up close is truly a remarkable experience.

Next, we will explore fin whales – another common species you can see in Juneau’s waters during summertime!

Fin Whales

Fin Whales are an awe-inspiring creature to witness. They have a streamlined body shape with a tall, falcate dorsal fin on its back and distinctive asymmetrical pigmentation on the lower jaw.

Fin Whales can be found in most of the world’s oceans, but they prefer deep waters near continental shelves. They also migrate seasonally to more productive or warmer areas.

Physical Characteristics

It’s almost a joke that these majestic creatures have such simple physical characteristics, isn’t it?

Fin whales can be quite large, reaching lengths up to 27 meters and weighing up to 70 tons. They have a long, streamlined shape with a pointed head and small dorsal fins located approximately two-thirds of the way down their back.

Fin whales are mostly black on top but white underneath, which helps them blend into their environment when seen from below by predators. Their body is covered in hundreds of tiny hairs that help them sense vibrations in the water.

Additionally, they have two layers of blubber which helps them maintain their body temperature in cold waters and provides buoyancy during deep dives. They also use their tail fluke to propel themselves forward while swimming at speeds up to 25 miles per hour!

Behavior and Habitat

With their unique ability to sense vibrations in the water, fin whales are known for their enigmatic behavior and distinct habitat preferences.

In Juneau, Alaska you can spot various whale species including humpback whales, gray whales, killer whales, and of course fin whales. Fin whales typically live in deep waters of oceans and seas worldwide but they tend to migrate to colder climates during summer months. This makes them a frequent sight in Juneau during this time of year.

Fin whales have a very social nature and use their powerful hearing capabilities to communicate with other members of the pod over great distances using low frequency sound waves.

They are also well-known for their feeding habits which involve consuming a variety of krill as well as schooling fish like herring or mackerel.

When it comes to social patterns, these sea mammals usually form large groups and travel together over long distances during migrations.


You’ve seen the most common whale species that you can find in Juneau, Alaska.

Harbor porpoises, humpback whales, orcas, gray whales, beluga whales and fin whales are all incredible to witness in their natural habitat!

If you’re lucky enough to spot one of these majestic creatures while visiting Juneau, be sure to take a moment to appreciate the beauty of nature.

There’s no better way to experience this unique part of Alaska than by witnessing its wildlife up close. So don’t forget your camera and keep an eye out for these amazing creatures!

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