Rottnest Island Whales 2023 has started as we enjoy the company of busy southbound Humpback Whales as the buzz of spring abounds. The juveniles are always first to start the journey back south as their smaller frames mean fat reserves are depleted quicker than their older mates in the population. The season change and increase in water temperature means it is time to begin the steady migration towards Antarctica. It is a fun time of the year for these youngsters though as with so many of the same age group on the journey south at the same time there is plenty of social interaction opportunities. Communication is key to being noticed or not during their time in the resting grounds with the young Humpbacks knowing exactly what to say.
Tail lobs are dominant and can be used to create a greater reactionary distance around the individual. Today one of the Humpback Whales we were interacting with was launching into some very impressive tail lobs before following up with a friendly language, pec slapping. It is a behaviour often used to call out to others and attract their attention. Juveniles will often establish dominance when first approaching another pod before then relaxing and calling attention towards themselves with a friendly pec slap wave. Today that was exactly what we had the opportunity of observing and it was fantastic to see the acrobatic skills required to communicate the Language of the Whales. Rottnest Island Whales 2023 is set to be a busy season for the Humpbacks as over 45,000 individuals are set to make the journey back towards feeding grounds and we are looking froward to meeting them in the resting grounds off Rottnest Island.