When are Humpback calves weaned? A mother Humpback will raise and nurture her calf for eleven months before the little one is ready to begin their solo life journey. It is a remarkable process of newborn calf to yearling and the success of this story is largely dependant on the dedication of a mother whale. A Humpback calf has a much better start to life if born in warm, tropical waters with minimal predators and isolated surroundings. The female Humpbacks of Western Australia make the long winter journey north just in time for the arrival of their newborn calves in the Kimberly region. Remaining in these waters over the winter months the calves grow dramatically in weight, size and confidence. Spring brings a change of water temperature and encourages the whales to migrate south in search of nutrient rich summer feeding grounds. During the southbound journey mothers and calves will visit resting grounds just like the one along the Perth coastline to relax and refresh before the next stage of their journey.
Eventually the mother and her calf will arrive in the krill rich waters of Antarctica where mother whale will begin feeding and her calf will start to try out the krill. Milk will continue to sustain the calf during the eleven months they are with their mum and summer will also include meals of krill to fast tack their continued growth. It is amazing to think that all of the beautiful calves we met today by this time next year will have separated from their mums and be well on their way to solo Humpback Whale life. In the meantime though they will continue to feast on plenty of milk daily and enjoy these days of exploring and resting with mother whale in the sheltered waters off Fremantle. Breaching, seaweed facials and resting was enjoyed amongst the mother and calves today as we wished them well for their long journey still ahead.