Whale Watching at Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach has seen a record number of humpback whales this winter. Hop onboard for a cool winter wildlife show: whales lunging, breaching, tail-bobbing and flipper slapping next to your boat.
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Photo By: Kristin Rayfield with Rudee Tours

Photo By: Mark Jennings, Virginia Aquarium Education Dept.

Photo By: Kristin Rayfield with Rudee Tours

Photo By: Kristin Rayfield with Rudee Tours

Photo By: Kristin Rayfield with Rudee Tours

Photo By: Kristin Rayfield with Rudee Tours

Photo By: Chris Erney

Photo By: Chris Erney

Humpback whales are true acrobatic animals. Here's a little breaching action: A humpback whale leaps out of the water.

The humpback whale is a baleen whale, with extra long pectoral fins. Here's a close-up of its knobby head.

A humpback whale raises its tail flukes out of the water. The result: a tail-slapping good show.

Thar she blows! This humpback whale is just a few yards from a boat.

Gulp! A warmer-than-usual winter -- plus, more plentiful bait like sandlance -- may explain the larger numbers of humpback whales this year.

The humpback whale has a fluked tail. Check out the wavy trailing edges.

The humpback whales have typically been spotted in pods of 2.

The humpback has 2 nostrils -- blow and dorsal fin -- at the top of its head. They use these to breathe air at the surface of the water. A double stream of spray is the visual result.

And if you miss the whales, head back in the summer: These guys will be waiting.