Humpback whale escort encounters can often be something of a surprise as they typically happen during an interaction with a mother and her calf and probably when you are least expecting it.
Escorts are mature humpbacks whales that tag along with a mother and her calf to help fend off predators and basically run interference between them and whatever the perceived threat is.
They usually stay in the background and very often you do not realize they are there, so the likelihood is that if an escort makes its presence felt you are probably being seen as a potential threat.
Escort humpback whales are usually male and while they provide much needed additional protection for the mother and her calf, their motivation is hardly altruistic as they are hoping to be allowed to mate with the mother when she is ready to do so…
Female humpbacks are also known to act as escorts and, although it is not known why they take up the escort role, the answer probably lies in the social nature of the whales.
The escort whales do very little to help the mothers raise the calves and concentrate on keeping predators at bay and fending off other male humpbacks who often try to muscle their way in and force their attentions on the mother is what is known as a competitive group.
Back To: Humpback Encounters Main Menu