Tis The Season For Baby Whale Calves on the Gold Coast!
Tis The Season For Baby Whale Calves on the Gold Coast! One of the greatest joys we get to experience as whale watchers is seeing proud humpback mothers teaching their newborn calves the ways of the sea, as they begin to make the journey home from the warmer waters of the north. Watching a little humpback calf tail slap, ‘mug’ the Mahi Mahi and breach for the first time (often under the watchful eyes of mother dearest) is quite a magical experience, that tends to become more frequent from the beginning of August onwards. In fact, you can read about one of the first little whales of the season ‘Hsaio Buddha’ that was spotted on our morning whale watch a few days ago here.
Humpback Migration 101
For those uninitiated with humpback migration, the reason our favourite humpback whales migrate in the first place past the Gold Coast is because they're heading north to give birth to their baby whale calves in the warmer waters. The whale calves are born without the blubber they need to stay alive in the cold seas. However, in the balmy waters of the tropics, the babies can withstand the temperatures and have time to fatten up on their mother’s milk, which can be up to 40% fat. No wonder the baby whales grow so fast! This high fat content means the little ones will quickly gain the blubber they need to be able to swim back down south with their mum into the cooler waters – which is when we start to see them migrating past for the Gold Coast whale watching season on our tours.
Mum and bub cruising past the Gold Coast
Notice how we keep saying mum...that's because once the baby whale has been conceived, the father humpback no longer has anything to do with the young calf. (Typical). When we do spot calves on the humpback highway when we're whale watching on the Gold Coast, they're most likely swimming alongside mum - or not far from her.
Watch Mum Teach Her Baby How To Breach, Tail Slap and Swim Past The Gold Coast
When the baby whale calves do decide to join us on our whale watching tours, they can often be easier to spot than their parents! This is because the little whales are still learning how to hold their breath and surface every 1-2 minutes – whereas the older humpbacks like to play hide and seek with us for slightly longer. Not to mention that baby whale calves can't help but play around as they're getting the hang of common whale behaviours such as breaching and tail-slapping. The little humpback calves will keep practicing over and over until they have it nailed - just like any other child would do! So, if you spot some little ones out on your tour, then there's a whale of a chance that there'll be a bit of activity. Sometimes, mum will even give her offspring (and the Gold Coast's whale watchers) a bit of a demo as to how breaching and tail slapping should be done.
If you'd like the chance to spot baby whales on your next tour, now is the perfect time to book. Our friendly boat crew always keep a keen eye out for the little ones, and seeing the baby whale calves play and race around the other members of their humpback family is such a joy to witness.
Don't miss out on your chance to see the baby whales this season – book online here or give our friendly reception staff a call on +61 7 5539 2111.
- The Crew at Whales in Paradise