Bachelor Male Humpback Behaviour

Bachelor male Humpback behaviour was on perfect display today as we sighted boisterous males breaching, tail lobbing and competing in the waters off Rottnest Island. Feeling like a throwback to winter, the sea breeze and overcast skies added to the energy of the day as our first pod was sighted. A male Humpback was escorting his female through the resting grounds and on our arrival in the area we could see that he was on guard. Launching into powerful tail lobs, the male was throwing his bodyweight around to make a statement. Displaying strength and power, this male was asserting his dominance amongst the pods around him and also towards us. Eventually this male was content that no one but him would be swimming away with his female today.

Three pods up ahead captured our attention with surface activity and movement, shortly after arriving we could see why. All three pods were starting to converge and the reason for this was a female travelling with her male escort just up ahead. The two pods either side of us consisted of bachelor males who were chasing after the escort pod. One of the males in the pod to our port side launched into an enormous full body breach which had us all gasp at the immense power of this beautiful whale. That set off a chain reaction as the bachelor pod to our starboard responded a few seconds later with a breach of their own until finally the male escort directly in front decided he would have to breach as well to defend his female. The bachelor males were determined and soon had all gathered around the female who began to power away from the males.

One of the whales competing had once experienced a severe entanglement which thankfully did not cost him his fluke, but the scars and some damage still remain to tell us a little bit of his story today.  The primary male escort pivoted, twisted and turned all in a desperate attempt to persuade the challengers to helpfully evaporate! Bubble veils and fluke swims continued and the bachelors look set for the long haul as the competition pod rumbled on past Rottnest Island.

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