The Humpback Whales Are Back!
The Humpback whales are back! The first one of the season has been spotted off the coast of Maui, and was spotted on Monday September 26. The whale was spotted by a boat Captain who saw two tail slaps from a yearling humpback whale, the yearling was spotted cruising through Honaunau Bay. According to the Pacific Whale Foundation the first sightings of the year are often subadults who have not yet reached sexual maturity. After the subadults, come the mothers and their calves, then mature males and females and the latest arrivals are the pregnant females. Here are some interesting facts about humpback whales that you may not know. This information was found on the Pacific Whale Foundations Humpback Whale Guide.
- Humpback whale population has been on a steady increase of about 7% each year. This means preservation efforts are working!
- During their summer feeding season one humpback whale can consume one ton of food each day! Generally, the whales do not feed while in Hawaii, but they may feed opportunistically on their long journey here.
- The act of mating between humpback whales has NEVER been documented.
- The Humpback whales gestation period is about one year. That means a calve that was conceived in Hawaii might be born here the next year!
- Only male humpbacks sing, different populations of humpbacks all sing different songs, but all the males within a single population all appear to sing the same song, which changes and evolves over the years. The exact reason for singing is still unknown, but it primarily occurs in breeding and calving areas.
- Adult Humpback whales in Hawaii range in size from 42-45 feet in length and can weigh 35-40 tons! That’s 70,000-80,000 pounds!