A powerful Humpback competition pod was sighted again today and amongst the frothing white water the local Bottlenose Dolphins joined the high intensity event unfolding around us.
The entire morning was a fantastic example of The Language of The Whales™ as our first meeting was with a very young Humpback Whale. A yearling and still only small, this little Humpback was quickly moving away from the area and trying his best to keep a low profile.
Looking up ahead we could see why as two young adult Humpbacks launched into some surface activity. Tail slapping and tail lobbing is a fantastic way of establishing dominance and as these two whales worked together as a team they maintained a good reactionary distance from the other whales in the area.
A Humpback competition pod is a situation that unfolds when two or more males converge and challenge each other for access to the female Humpback who is generally leading the chase!
The challenging males will push and shove, trying to establish their dominance amongst the pod and move up closer to the female. The winner of a competition pod is the male who can keep primary escort position right alongside the female for the longest. This morning that is exactly what unfolded as four males powerfully competed right under our feet as they used our vessel as a block and distraction.
.The Bottlenose Dolphins moving through the area joined in as they rode the bow wave created by the fast moving Humpbacks and adding to the incredible event was the rain gently falling as Humpbacks launched into head lunges, breaches and chin slaps.
The high intensity resulted in breaching all around as numerous pods and 20+ Humpbacks communicated towards each other. Eventually we did have a winner and after over an hour of high intensity, the winning male and his girl slipped away from the others, what an incredible morning!
-Whale Watch Western Australia
This post was adapted from a blog, read the original here