Rottnest Dolphins Joined the Pod on today’s tour as we travelled very gently along the Hillary’s coastline with an escort pod consisting of male escort, mother and calf.
This is a regular occurrence and it doesn’t mean the escort is the father of the calf but has joined the pod with hopes of mating with the female at a later stage, so he will escort the female and act as a deterrent &/or body guard. There are many mothers and calves southbound at this time of year on the Humpback migration and as we drifted along the Hillary’s coastline in perfect conditions a very peaceful pod of Rottnest Dolphins Joined the Pod and the energy started to increase.
Our friendly calf swam straight toward the pod as mother and escort watched on from a close distance. The two different cetaceans enjoyed each others company until there was in the distance some aggressive breaching and head lunging from a separate competition pod.
This instantly caused a change of direction from our little family pod as they did not want to engage with the increased energy from the competition pod.
We left the Mother, escort and calf and arrived on scene within a short period to find an intense competition pod developing with up to 9 Whales at one stage. Competition Pod’s are generally more active in the northern migration as males and females look to partner up for the long migration and to pair up, however the southern migration is more focused toward the calves survival and the fridge of food waiting in Antarctica. Whale Watchers enjoyed over an hour of interaction between the whales as others joined and then realized the bigger male in the middle was taking charge as he head lunged and chin slapped to assert his dominance.
Like human males do at times, he and his competitors were so focused on each other competing they did not notice the female and her smaller male escort use our vessel as a sound block and quietly disappeared off to our port side and away from the males, still competing, but heading in the wrong direction! Once they realized the female was gone there was the obligatory tail swipe of frustration and the energy dissipated as they too headed south.
Sometimes, we as full time Whale Watchers, really see a lot about human behaviours in these wonderful cetaceans and vice versa.
-Whale Watch Western Australia
This post was adapted from a blog, read the original here