They've been sighted. The first humpback whales that head south to the Hawaiian Islands for the winter have been spotted in the islands' waters.
According to the folks at the National Parks of the Pacific Islands, the first sighting of a humpback came in the waters off Maui a couple weeks ago. And, those Park Service personnel note, since "all of the national parks in Hawaii are coastal parks, there are numerous opportunities in the parks to watch these amazing creatures during the winter months."
"For example, on the Island of Hawaii volunteers and staff from the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary offer free whale watches twice a week at Pu`ukohola Heiau National Historic Site (usually between mid-December and early April)," the park staffers say. "Besides watching the whales in the waters just offshore, the dedicated Sanctuary staff and volunteers offer a wealth of information about the whales, including their behaviors and what is being done to help protect them."