During the winter months of December-April, the leeward waters of Maui County house the world’s densest humpback whale population. Every year, over 10,000 humpbacks annually migrate to the warm, shallow waters of Maui.
Humpbacks do all of their feeding in the summer in the nutrient-rich waters of Alaska, where long summer days create a North Pacific icebox that teems with plankton and krill. As summer fades into autumn, however, the food supply diminishes. As the days get shorter and the food gets scarcer, humpback whales in the northern Pacific turn their attention south towards the warm, shallow waters of Maui.
Humpback whales are here in Hawaii to breed and give birth to their calves, and not only is the breeding process more enjoyable in warmer water but if humpback calves were born in Alaska, they’d most likely freeze to death. Calves stay with their moms, and when compared to many wild animals, the family relationship between mother and calf is actually relatively long. After they’re born here in Hawaii the calves stay by their mother’s side for almost an entire year.
While here in Hawaii they will nurse with their mothers in order to pack on pounds, they drink about 100 gallons per day! After the Mom shows the young calf how to journey back to Alaska, a year has passed when the Mom and calf have to return to Hawaii! Want to marvel at the wonders that Mother Nature can provide? Come to the waters on the leeward side of Maui, and watch your jaw drop when you see these magnificent creatures jump for joy or “breach” right in front of you! With a slap of their huge tails, you’ll feel smaller than a single speck of sand, on all of the glorious beaches in magnificent Maui. 🌎
Photo Credit-💃🏼Karen Bryant 🤳🏻.
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