Saturday, January 28, 2017

Baby Humpback Breach and Tail Slap

   A month ago I posted about seeing the first baby humpback whale this winter season here in Hawaii. Since then I have spotted many more mom and calf pairs around the island of Maui. It is pretty amazing to think that these mother whales swim all the way here from Alaska, pregnant, then give birth to a baby the size of a small pickup truck, go on to feed it gallons of fat rich milk every day, all while not eating anything herself. With all of this effort the moms are putting into the calves it is nice to see plump, healthy, well fed calves jumping and playing.

 Whenever I see baby humpbacks breaching or slapping their tails, I wonder if they are just learning the moves needed for communication once they get older, or if it really just for fun. We came across this baby whale and watched it breach over and over. Finally when it stopped breaching it just changed behavior and started tail slapping over and over. Mom was always nearby and I could just picture the baby saying, "look at me mom, look at how good I'm doing."

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