Humpback competitive group encounters are second only to Heat Runs in their intensity and witnessing one, as the whales jostle and maneuver, is a similarly incredible experience you will never forget!
These encounters occur when one or more male humpback whale “challengers” decide to try to displace an incumbent escort.
The challenger will try to force its presence upon the mother and make the incumbent escort abandon its hoped for liaison with her… If the challenger is aggressive and strong enough there may be a passive changing of the guard and the vanquished escort will retreat in to the blue.
But more likely there will be a competition between the challenger and the incumbent which is when the spectacle really begins as the mother tries to stay out of the fray and guard her calf while the two contestants battle it out.
The challenger and the incumbent use both brute force and cunning against each other and often the challenger will try to force the mother away from the incumbent in the hope that concern for her calf will make her acquiesce.
The strategic use of a bubble curtain to confuse and disorientate their opponent is fascinating to watch and in the image below the incumbent has swam below the mother and the challenger and blows a bubble curtain at the challenger.
Back To: Humpback Encounters Main Menu