Female Humpbacks Communicate?

On Wednesday’s Breakfast with the Whales Cruise, we got to watch about a dozen different Humpbacks. At first we were just watching a lot of spouting and fluke dives, but when Captain Will stopped the boat, a couple of very big whales surfaced right next to us – twice! Then, we were approached by a Mom with a very small calf (the calf’s dorsal fin hadn’t straightened up yet so we know he was young). After investigating us, they turned to swim away and the little guy did a half-breach. Our 10:00 Whale Watch began with a Mom and her baby coming over to see us. Right after that, we found a small competitive pod of 3 whales. These whales were really active on the surface, giving us a good view of tail lobs, head stands, and even a double spy-hop (making us wonder if the whales were looking at us or were more interested in how they looked to each other above the surface). We finally had to break away from all the action to head back to the harbor, but on the way back in we had whales surfacing 100 yards from us all around the boat. On the Whales and Cocktails Cruise, our onboard naturalist Mike reports seeing “plenty of whales”. He also reports hearing some great sounds from the hydrophone when it was deployed. But the most interesting part of the charter happened towards the end, when we were approached by two different Mom/Calf pods. The pods were about 20 feet apart, and both of them got very active – tail lobbing repetitively, causing us to question whether they were trying to communicate something urgent to each other or to us.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: We’ve never witnessed a Humpback taking care of two calves. We know she could conceive twins (and whalers occasionally would find twin fetuses) but we doubt she could carry twins to term. And even if she could, we really doubt she could produce the approximately 200 gallons of milk she’d need each day to feed two calves

Comments are closed.