Habitat of Blue Whales: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Lauren Scott

Lauren has a Bachelor's degree in biology from Virginia Tech and Master's degrees in environmental science & policy and special education from Johns Hopkins University. She has 20 years of teaching experience in public, private, and informal educational settings.

Dive down deep into the home of the world's largest animal. This lesson will teach you about the habitat of the blue whale. You will learn where blue whales live, and why they are tough to find!

A Blue Whale's World

Imagine how hard it would be to play hide-and-seek if you were 100 feet tall. You wouldn't be able to hide anywhere! Unless, of course, you were a blue whale. Blue whales can be over 100 feet long, and they live all over the world, but they are really hard to find. One reason is that there aren't that many of them, so they are really spread out. Another reason they are hide-and-seek champions is that the ocean is so wide and deep. Even a giant can hide out! The good news is that scientists know enough about blue whale habitats to find them and study them. Even if they are tricky to find, it is still possible to learn more about these enormous denizens of the deep.

Common Features

The blue shaded areas show the range of the blue whale. They live all over the world.
range map

Blue whales occupy many different habitats, but their homes share some traits in common. Most blue whales migrate to warmer waters in the winter, and find cooler waters in the summer. They seem to follow their food sources, and also look for safe places to have their babies, which are called calves. Some blue whales will stay in one place all the time if the conditions are right. Blue whales prefer to live in the open ocean, away from land, but they sometimes move closer to shore.

Whales up North

Blue whales in the northern hemisphere prefer the waters off of Canada and Alaska, and they will also travel to waters off of California, Japan, and Korea. Although northern blue whales migrate to warmer waters in the winter, they never stray below the equator. They tend to stay in deeper waters, but are sometimes seen near shore.

It is unusual to see blue whales close to shore.
blue whale tail

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