Competitive Humpbacks

The energy stepped up a level today as the competitive Humpbacks charged through Flinders Bay on both our morning and afternoon experiences. Enormous male Humpbacks were focused and ready as they sort out a female companion, but to find a female is one thing… you still need to win the competition pod! The competitive Humpbacks numbered from four to eight individuals all surging together in a fast pace chase after the female, also known as a heat run. The primary escort is the male travelling closest to the leading female and he must do everything he can to hold that position. Not so easy to do when you have half a dozen other males trying to push you out of the way and with much enthusiasm! This morning we had a very relaxed juvenile exploring the waters in and around the Augusta Boat Harbour and wisely keeping out of the way from the competitive Humpbacks charging through the wider areas of the bay. The morning built to a very powerful competition pod of mature age males racing through at top speeds in hot pursuit of the female leading the way as further Humpback pods breached close by.

The afternoon was very much the same as our first encounter was with a friendly sub-adult who was covered in many barnacle scars, he swam around our bow a few times while looking back up at us with much interest. The building energy throughout the bay sighted many whales all shuffling to find their little spot in a busy place. A social pod of four ranging from mature adults through to a very young juvenile all swam together as one and seemed to enjoy each others company. The competitive Humpbacks were still round though and an enormous male with a huge white belly extending all the way up his flanks lunged forward and yet another competition had begun. Breaching and pec slapping followed as the females continued to call out to the males and encourage their behaviour, the best way to see who is the finest male in the bay!

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