Shortly after I finished writing about a groundhog sighting in Morningside Park today, I checked out my Twitter feed and almost fell out of my chair.
Twitter user @jrwoodhull said he saw a humpback whale swimming in the Hudson River near 72nd Street at around 7:30am on Wednesday, December 9.
The photo he posted is a bit hard to make out, but it’s already been retweeted 16 times (a lot for a Twitter user with only 6 followers), which includes a retweet by trusted NYC bird boss Manhattan Bird Alert, which goes by the handle @BirdCentralPark.
Manhattan Bird Alert said that “after reaching Upper New York Harbor yesterday morning, [the whale] appears to have swum back up the Hudson River this morning!”
On Monday afternoon, another humpback whale sighting (we assume it was the same one) took place near Pier 84 at West 43rd Street, and was captured on video by @AndresJavierNYC.
for those requesting our ??video without the text! pic.twitter.com/DxJF9WuKQQ
— Andrés (@AndresJavierNYC) December 8, 2020
After the video was posted, Gotham Whale confirmed it was in fact a real humpback.
The organization encourages those on the water to be careful.
Mariners around NYC please SLOW DOWN and be on the look out for #HumpbackWhale NYC0089 seen in the #HudsonRiver on 12/07 & 12/08.
???@uscoastguard @USCG_Tri_State @NYSDEC @PortNYNJ @PANYNJ @NOAAFisheries @NOAAFish_GARFO @NYSANEWS @NYCMayorsOffice @NYCSpeakerCoJo @NYCMayor pic.twitter.com/G27ibWvk4n
— Gotham Whale (@gothamwhale) December 9, 2020
Patch reports that NYC whale sightings have increased by 540% in the last eight years, and that 272 were spotted in 2019, almost all of which were humpbacks.
It’s pretty cold, but if you decide to head down to the river, please let us know if you catch a glimpse of this amazing creature!