#34: Interesting behaviors

For the past three months, almost every time we have seen Eg #2413 she has been with Eg #1968 (Check them out in the Right Whale Catalog). When this season began, we observed a number of adult female pairs that later became some of this year's mothers. In December, when we started seeing these two, we thought that maybe they could be pregnant females.

However, they prove to be an interesting pair as Eg #1968 has never been documented with a calf, and Eg#2413 is a potential mother as she gave birth 3 years ago. So now it is March, these two females have been together for 3 months and neither one has calved. It is not unusual for two adult females to be with each other for a few months like this and not calve; last year we observed the same thing. We have commonly called these adult female pairs "the ladies."

Just two days ago, "the ladies" were observed together. And then yesterday, we observed Eg #2413 by herself exhibiting a whole stretch of behaviors, check out the slide show below. In the first few images she is posturing with her mouth open; you can see the baleen hanging down from her top jaw as well as her large bottom jaw. She then proceeded to tail slap; notice all the white water around her tail stock. She then started flipper slapping; in these images she has her flipper in the air waiting to bring it down to hit the water.

It was quite a spectacle watching her! There are infinite possibilities as too why whales exhibit such behaviors. In her case, was she missing her companion, was she getting ready to give birth, or was she just perhaps enjoying life? We may never know. Our mission is to fly our Early Warning Systems and unless we think a whale is in distress, for instance from a ship strike or an entanglement, we are only onsite for a few minutes. In this case she seemed to calm down and so we moved on with the rest of our survey. It will be interesting to see where she is seen next and with whom; only time will tell.



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