Humpback whale tail flukes

May has arrived and brought some first humpback whales along. These magnificent animals are finally returning from their breeding grounds in (sub)tropical waters where they have spent the winter months. Our dear humpback whales are known to untertake one of the greatest migrations as they travel between the waters here around Iceland (and even further up north) and the warmer waters of e.g. the Caribbean Sea.

Their migration is perfectly timed as they come here for their feeding season in those months during which the food is most abundant. Once the weather gets colder towards winter and the food scarce, the adults travel back into warmer habitats. There, they will either mate or give birth to a calf. The (sub)polar waters are too cold for the newborn calves, which is why they're born into a warmer environment. Whales rely on a lot of blubber, in other words, a fat layer, which keeps them warm while here. Newborn calves however have just very little of this body insulation, which wouldn't be sufficient to survive around Icelandic waters. Additionally, the waters they're born into are rather calm and protected and hence a perfect playground for the young whales to learn to control their bodies, hold their breaths and dive as well as grow strength and blubber.

Only once strong enough, the mother and calf pairs will start their journeys back north into nutrient-rich waters with plenty of food to feast on.

Are you joining us these days and are ready to welcome back our beloved humpback whales?

Hunang Hunang logo