Author Archives: Kim Ortiz

Spy-hopping Humpback

A mother humpback whale birthing in Hawaii takes a look around above water as her newborn calf builds up strength playing and swimming nearby. If you look closely, you can see the baby whale’s dorsal fin just to the left of mama.

Many whales and dolphins “spy-hop”–slowly rise above the surface, nearly vertically, until they are a good portion out of the water, and then slowly sink back into the ocean. It is thought that they do it to get a better view of predators, prey, and obstacles above sea level.

From the Photographer:

This was my first encounter with a whale breach. It was my birthday and I went on a whale watch cruise. It was an amazing cruise with so many whales.

Adult humpback whales are about the size of a school bus, which makes spy-hopping especially fun to watch.