Humpback Whale Photo-Identification Guide

Individual humpback whales are identified by the pigmentation and shape of their ventral flukes (tail) as well as the shape of the dorsal fin. CCS has studied humpback whales using photo-identification and other research techniques since the 1970s. Learn more about our Gulf of Maine Humpback Whale Catalog and scientific research here.

A fluke photo-ID guide is available to the Gulf of Maine whale watching community at the link below. This guide contains only a subset of the whales that we have cataloged and is being shared online for educational use only.

GOM humpback ID guide_CCS2012

Gulf of Maine humpback Whale Photo-ID Guide

This is a field ID guide to selected Gulf of Maine humpback whales (72 pages, 118MB**, 2013 version). It is intended for educational use.

This file is periodically updated, so please share the link to this page and not the file itself.

Due to the large size of this file, the download time may be several minutes and the screen may appear blank during this time.

You can right click on the file and select “Save target as” to save the file for offline viewing. You need the Adobe Acrobat Reader to open these files. Download it here.

We thank the following for sharing information with us: Allied Whale, Bar Harbor Whale Watch, Blue Ocean Society, Boston Harbor Cruises, Boston’s Best Cruises, Brier Island Whale and Seabird Cruises, Captain John Boats, Capt Bill and Sons, Cape Ann Whale Watch, Dolphin Fleet, Grand Manan Whale and Seabird Research Station, New England Coastal Wildlife Alliance, Quoddy Link Marine, Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, Whale Center of New England and others.