2 Types of WHALES Found in Connecticut (2024)

What types of whales can you see in Connecticut?

Types of whales in Connecticut

Whale-watching is one of the most exciting adventures I can think of! These enormous, fascinating creatures have captured the imagination of many nature lovers.

Below, you will find pictures and descriptions of the whales found in Connecticut. I’ve also included RANGE MAPS and fun facts about each species.

Although there are many interesting facts about whales, I kept each description brief to cover all the species. So, you may want to consider purchasing the book below if you want more information.

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2 WHALES in Connecticut!


#1. Pygmy Sperm Whale

  • Kogia breviceps

Whales in Connecticut

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults grow to 11.5 feet and weigh 700 to 1,000 pounds.
  • Their coloring is dark gray with a patch of white on the belly.
  • They have blocky heads and a pointed snout, giving them a shark-like appearance.

Pygmy Sperm Whales are a widespread species throughout the world’s oceans, inhabiting temperate and tropical waters.

This species is cryptic and avoids ships and aircraft, which makes it very difficult to observe them in the wild. Gathering data about their population and behavior is made even more difficult because they like to spend time with other species. Scientists often observe them together with Dwarf Sperm Whales, which makes them very difficult to identify and examine in detail.

Interestingly, Pygmy Sperm Whales also squirt ink at predators. This unique adaptation to evade danger suggests that they were historically preyed upon by larger species. Although it might be hard for us to imagine now, at one time, these large creatures were the “small fish!”


#2. Humpback Whale

  • Megaptera novaeangliae

Connecticut whales

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults can reach 60 feet and weigh up to 40 tons.
  • Their coloring is black, with white markings on the belly and pectoral fins.
  • The fins are wavy, and the nose is covered in bumpy protrusions. The belly is often ridged.

This species is one of the most wide-ranging whales in Connecticut.

The same whales that can be observed feeding in the waters around Alaska in summer travel to Hawaii during the winter months! Humpback Whales follow the same migration patterns year after year, making them easy to spot on whale-watching expeditions.

Whale watchers love to see Humpback Whales exhibit their showy behavior. They often breach high out of the water, slapping their bodies and fins against the surface. Scientists believe that the loud sounds produced by their breaching are a form of communication with other whales.

Krill, a type of tiny crustacean very similar to shrimp, is the primary food source of these gigantic whales. Humpback Whales, like the other great whales, lack teeth. Instead, they have hair-like plates called baleen that hang down from their upper jaws. Whales take huge gulps of water into their mouths and capture thousands of krill. Then they filter the water back out through the baleen plates, trapping the krill inside.


Do you want to learn about LAND MAMMALS found in Connecticut?

Check out this field guide!


Which of these whales have you seen in Connecticut?

Let us know in the comments!

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