In the pristine waters of the Pacific Northwest a magnificent marine migration unfolds every year, drawing attention to one of the most awe-inspiring journeys in the animal kingdom — the migration of humpback whales from their feeding grounds in British Columbia to their breeding grounds near the equator.
The Journey Begins
As autumn arrives and the chill descends upon the northern waters of British Columbia, humpback whales embark on an incredible journey. Starting around November, the humpback whale population around Vancouver Island begins to slowly decrease. Leaving behind the rich feeding grounds of the North Pacific, they set their course for warmer waters to the south. Throughout the winter, we will only have occasional sightings of the few humpback whales who don’t migrate (the reason of which researchers are unsure).
Their migration is 5000-8000km one way to either Hawaii or Mexico!
The journey south takes the whales to their designated mating grounds, where the magic of nature unfolds. These grounds are carefully chosen for their warm temperatures and relative safety, providing an optimal environment for the intricate courtship and mating rituals of humpback whales. The process is a symphony of nature, with males competing for the attention of females through displays of strength and acrobatic prowess.
Pregnant females give birth in their breeding grounds. Newborn calves would not survive the harsh conditions of their feeding grounds in the winter. When they’re born, they have a thin blubber layer that makes them more vulnerable to colder temperatures.
Courtship and Songs
Male humpback whales are known for their mesmerizing songs, which are a crucial component of their courtship. These complex and haunting melodies can carry for miles underwater and are believed to play a role in attracting potential mates.
The migration of humpback whales from British Columbia to their southern mating grounds is a testament to the marvels of the natural world! Join us for a whale watching tour in Campbell River and witness the power and beauty of this migratory species.