Every year, humpback whales migrate from their breeding grounds in the warm waters of the tropics to their feeding grounds in the cold, productive waters of the polar regions. This amazing journey takes them more than 5,000 miles round-trip! Let’s follow one humpback whale on her journey and learn more about these fascinating creatures along the way.
In early spring, the female humpback whale will give birth to her calf in the warm, shallow waters near the equator. For the first few months of its life, the calf will stay close to its mother and learn how to swim, hunt, and avoid predators. By summer, mother and calf will begin their long journey north to cooler waters.
On the move again in autumn, they’ll head south towards their breeding grounds. Along the way, they’ll stop to feed on krill, small fish, and other marine life. By winter, they’ll reach their destination and mate again before beginning the journey back north.
After months of travel, they’ll finally return to their calving grounds to give birth and start the cycle anew.
Did you know? Humpback whales are known for their songs which can last for up to 20 minutes! Males sing complex songs that are unique to each group of whales. Scientists believe that these songs may be used to attract mates or mark territory.
Humpback whales are amazing animals that never cease to amaze us with their grace and strength. The next time you see a whale breaching out of the water or singing a beautiful song, remember the incredible journey they’ve taken to get there!