The Sound of Silence

The Sound of Silence is one of the most important factors of a Humpback Whales migration journey and their ability to achieve this ensures they become almost invisible to hunting predators. Today we ventured out into beautiful blue ocean as all eyes including Alby’s scanned the horizon for signs of Humpback Whales. Gannets flew past along with Crested Terns and Pied Cormorants all in search of their morning breakfast. A tall, lofty exhalation was sighted just up ahead and we ventured over to say hello. Another pod surfaced to our starboard side before the original whale surfaced right in front of our bow. Looking carefully we could see no calf in sight with both pods containing one lone adult Humpback on the migration around Rottnest Island. Humpbacks are very sensitive to sound and they use noise to communicate and listen to the world around them. 

Should predation such as Orca be in the general vicinity of migrating whales they will be well aware to ensure they limit their sound footprint. The sound of silence can be hard to achieve when you are a 14+ meter individual needing to move and make the occasional splash as you surface to breath regularly. Further ahead a protective male escort launched into head lunging and a breach to defend the female he was travelling with. A few hundred meters to his right was a pod of three adults all in a line as it appeared two males were following a female around the island. Doing their best to keep close and flirt with the female, they also seemed to be respecting the noise profile they made every time they surfaced. Very unusual to be surrounded by adult whales today with not a Humpback calf in sight this late in the season, but that is the wonders of working with wildlife and enjoying the uniqueness of each day and interaction!

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