A whale tale refers to a story that’s probably not true. This story is most assuredly true, though.
At up to 52 feet in length and 40 tons weight, it’s fair to say that Humpback whales are a big deal! More than in just the literal sense, though, whales really are a big deal. Tens of thousands of people per year pay to participate in Hawaiian whale watching excursions. On a nearly daily basis we are asked “Will we see any whales?” Between the months of November to March the answer is “Possibly.” We do see them on the surface regularly during the time they are here. More common, though, is to hear them while underwater. I spend the whole summer looking forward to the time they return and give us the amazing gift of their song.
I like to keep my articles short so instead of writing a long post about the awesomeness of Humpback’s, I’m going to just share some cool facts about them.
- There are over 100 recorded instances of Humpback whales defending members of other species from predator attacks.
- When whales visit Hawaii, they don’t stay in any given area for more than a couple days. The way they move around is like a human visitor staying at ten different hotels on four islands over a couple week visit.
- One reason it’s so important for boats to avoid close approaches to Humpback’s is because the whales don’t have a breathing reflex. If a boat were to strike one and knock it unconscious, it would suffocate and die.
- A newborn Humpback is 12 to 15 feet long and will grow to about 30 feet long in the first year.
- Humpback’s make a variety of sounds which appear to be social communication but only males sing. All the males in a particular group sing the same song which will undergo slight changes during each breeding season. When the whales return for the next season, they will all be singing the exact same song they were singing when they left at the end of the previous season.