Habitat

Where Do Whales Live?
Some cetacean species’ distribution is limited while others are found worldwide. Large species like blue, humpback, and fin whales are found globally, although they have their own groups and, in some cases, subspecies that have their own range. Learn more

Migration
Baleen whale species migrate annually, with many following a predictable pattern. In particular, both humpback and gray whales have notably long migrations. Both species have migrations that total over 10,000 miles round trip, with the longest recorded migration being a 13,988 mile journey by a gray whale from Mexico to Russia and back. These animals have not only the longest migrations for whales—it is the longest migration for any mammal. Learn more

Coastal vs. Deep Water
Cetaceans live at a variety of depths depending on the species. For example, beaked whales are deep divers that are typically seen far from shore. North Atlantic right whales and gray whales can be seen without the use of binoculars if their prey items bring them in close to shore. Others, like orcas, either stay in one general area if they are residents of that region (for example, the Salish Sea) or travel to different ocean habitats if they are transient pods.