Each Winter the Southern Right Whales (Eubaleena australis) migrate up from their feeding grounds near Antarctica to the South Australian coastline to breed.
The adult females are huge, around 15 m (or 50ft) in length and weighing around 47 tonnes.
They have strong maternal connections with specific locations and, when calving, are known to return to their “birth spots” at 3-year intervals.
Their calving grounds are often close to high wave coastal areas with cliffs, making SA’s Eyre Peninsula and The Great Australian Bight favoured breeding grounds. (It is thought that the sound of the crashing waves may prevent predator’s acoustic searches for infants and calving cows.)
The cows and calves can often be seen swimming up and down the coastline in the surf and playing and interacting in groups – perhaps preparing and strengthening the calves for the long migration ahead of them.
This footage was taken at Seaford Bay near Port Lincoln in September 2017 and includes a lucky shot of one cow’s baleen as she opens her mouth. I counted 15 whales in total.
It was pretty challenging weather and conditions for filming but I hope you enjoy these beautiful creatures as much as I did.
And PLEASE lend your support to saying a big NO to oil drilling in the Great Australian Bight…
Music Credit: “Call to Adventure” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License