Best time to travel to Florida

Whale Watching

The population of endangered Northern right whales is recovering in Florida

Whale Watching in Florida 2019 - Best Time
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NOAA News Archive 011811

Manatees are undoubtedly Florida's most famous sea mammals. However, recently, you can meet other gentle giants in Florida's waters: Northern right whales. After spending the summer in New England and Nova Scotia, endangered right whales migrate to the warm Florida waters from December to March. You can see these beautiful creatures along Northern Florida shoreline during this period. The area between Jacksonville and Cape Canaveral is the premier whale-watching location in the state.

Scientists estimate that the total number of Northern right whales is about 490. Nearly 75 of them are regularly spotted off Florida's shore. Many females arrive to Florida pregnant and calves are born in warm Atlantic ocean waters. The average weight of a newborn calf is 900 kg (1,984 lb) and length—5 m (16.4 ft). By March, the calves grow strong, and whales head back north.

There are no organized whale watching tours in Florida since their appearance is too hard to predict. Also, mothers and calves might be stressed because of tourist boats. However, Florida residents and visitors see whales in the ocean all the time, so everyone might get lucky.