A mama humpback whale and her baby are the “first whales of the 2024 season” in Turks and Caicos.
Bungee, a well-known mama humpback, was spotted swimming with her 2023 calf, according to a Jan 14 Facebook video posted by Ocean Vibes - Grand Turk Shore Excursions.
While filming the duo, one of the agency’s guides and marine biologists also got a special serenade from a nearby whale.
Whales make noises to “communicate and socialize,” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
A video of the mama and baby shows the pair swimming close by one another, and features a male whale “singing in the distance,” the tour group said.
“This mother calf pair might soon part ways, so this encounter felt a little extra special today,” the tour group wrote.
Humpback whale calves are born after 11 months of gestation, and they spend up to the first year of their lives near their mothers before weaning, according to the NOAA. Mama humpbacks are “protective,” and they often swim close to their calves or “touch them with their flippers.”
Calves aren’t believed to stay associated with their mothers, but they are likely to stay in the same breeding and feeding areas, experts said.
Humpbacks perform “long seasonal migrations,” according to the International Whaling Commission. The creatures spend their summers feeding in cold waters at high latitudes, and they spend their winters in warm tropical waters where they mate, breed and feed their young.