Owen the whale

Whale ID #NP0157

Congratulations! You have officially adopted the North Pacific humpback whale named Owen.

Owen was lovingly named by Susan and Marshall Mortenson in honor of their grandson.

Humpback whales are the fifth largest whales in the world. On average, males reach about 43 feet in length; females are slightly larger and can grow to an average of 45 feet.

They are solitary animals by nature and the most common pod, or group, size is two animals. This represents the mother-calf pair. After a gestation period of almost a year, humpback whales give birth in their winter mating grounds.  The moms will then nurse their newborn calf for almost a year and guide them on their first migration to their feeding grounds and back to the mating grounds. For Owen, this migration is between Hawaii (mating grounds) and Alaska (feeding grounds).

After that first migration, the yearling (year old calf) is on its own and has learned all it can from its mother. The humpback whale father has no direct impact on the development and nurturing of his young.

It is quite difficult to ascertain the sex of humpback whales from visual observations unless you get a good luck on their ventral (belly) side and observe the hemispherical lobe present on females, see the mother-calf pair, or observe other behaviors that serve as clues. From the sighting of Owen on March 15, 2013 in Ma’alaea Bay, this animal was observed escorting a mother and a calf; therefore, assumed to be male. The escort’s goal is to mate with the female and will even engage in competition with other males to gain access to the female.

We thank Susan and Marshall Mortenson for their generous donation to name Owen in honor of their grandson. Through adopting Owen, you have also made a generous donation to support the ongoing research studies by Pacific Whale Foundation. We hope you enjoyed learning about your whale.

The Pacific Whale Foundation research team will continue to watch for and document all sightings of Owen and will update you on his future sightings.

Sightings of Owen