Whale watchers have fanned out across the east coast of the state in search of right whales and their young this winter but a pair of a different species of whale was spotted this week.

Aerial crews from the Marineland Right Whale Project spotted a humpback whale Monday about two miles off the coast near the Volusia and Flagler County line. It was in the area of Highbridge Road.

A day later the crews got a picture of a second humpback about a half mile from shore off Flagler Beach.

Spotters believe they are two separate whales because of the coloring.

The crews in the airplane also reported seeing more than 100 loggerhead and 60 leatherback sea turtles in the water.

Humpback Whales


25-40 tons (50,000-80,000 pounds; 22,000-36,000 kg);
newborns weigh about 1 ton (2,000 pounds; 900 kg)


up to 60 feet (18 m), with females larger than males;
newborns are about 15 feet (4.5 m) long


primarily dark grey, with some areas of white


about 50 years


tiny crustaceans (mostly krill), plankton, and small fish; they can consume up to 3,000 pounds (1360 kg) of food per day


breaching (jumping out of the water), or slapping the surface

Loggerhead Turtles

Weight: Adult: 250 pounds (113 kg)
Hatchling: 0.05 pounds (20 g)
Length: Adult: 3 feet (~1 m)
Hatchling: 2 inches (4 cm)
Appearance: reddish-brown, slightly heart-shaped top shell ("carapace") with pale yellowish bottom shell ("plastron"); hatchlings are brown to dark gray
Lifespan: unknown, but they reach sexual maturity at around 35 years old
Diet: whelks and conch
Behavior: females nest from April-September and generally lay 3-5 nests per season

Leatherback sea turtles

Weight: Adult: up to 2,000 pounds (900 kg)
Hatchling: 1.5-2 ounces (40-50 g)
Length: Adult: 6.5 feet (2 m)
Hatchling: 2-3 inches (50-75 cm)
Appearance:  primarily black shell with pinkish-white coloring on their belly
Lifespan: unknown
Diet: soft-bodied animals, such as jellyfish and salps
Behavior: females lay clutches of approximately 100 eggs several times during a nesting season, typically at 8-12 day intervals

Information from NOAA Fisheries