Humpback Whale Birth Observed


Stephen Luntz

Stephen has a science degree with a major in physics, an arts degree with majors in English Literature and History and Philosophy of Science and a Graduate Diploma in Science Communication.

Freelance Writer

1654 Humpback Whale Birth Observed
The mother and newborn baby humpback whale

If you’re still feeling warm and fuzzy after the cheetah birth we covered on Wednesday and looking for more footage of charismatic animals entering the world, take a look at this – a baby humpback a few hours old.

Southern Ocean humpbacks are undergoing their annual migration down the Australian coast and while most have their babies in tropical waters this one gave birth on the journey from the feeding grounds of the Antarctic.


This mother came close enough to Mudjimba on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast to get noticed. Observers described hearing a sound and then seeing the baby jump to the surface.

Another whale was nearby at the time and the pair's noise alerted the locals. “It could have been a bull whale because they're the ones who really make noise ... they sing," John Matterson of cruise organizers Whale One told 7 news. However, marine biologist Dr Julian Pepperell suggested in an ABC radio interview that the noises were more likely to be from the mother.

Pepperell said the accompanying whale may have been a partially grown calf aged a year or two. He added that the mother produces a couple of hundred liters of milk a day for a year, despite barely feeding for six months at time.