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After their long journey to Drake Bay, pregnant mother whales give birth, in surprisingly shallow waters, near the coast of Cano Island. The baby whale calves, are about 4 meters long and weigh about 4,000 pounds at birth. A baby Humpback, drinks more milk in one day, than a human baby does, in one year. They gain up to 200 pounds per day!
The moms and their new babies, will then spend the next 4 months here, sometimes traveling with a male escort whale, which may or may not be the father.
During their stay in Costa Rica, the mothers will teach their new babies to breach, (jumping full body, out of the water) and to swim in all kinds of weather. The mom and baby will stay together, for about a year, finally separating in the feeding waters, when the baby is about 8 to 10 meters in length.
The babies, while in Costa Rica, only drink mother's milk. Humpback whales do not feed in Costa Rica waters. The adult whales, subsist on their own blubber, during the mating and breeding season.
On rare occasions, some have been spotted feeding on sardines and krill, when the opportunity is there. By the time the Humpback whales are leaving for their winter feeding waters, they are very thin, with bones sticking out, from their tail sections.
While the Humpback whales are in Costa Rica, you can observe them, jumping full body, out of the water and tail slapping. The male Humpback whales, use this behavior, along with their complex whale songs, to attract a mate.
Their courtship can be very passionate and appear to be aggressive, it involves lively rituals of high speed chasing, pectoral and tail slapping, head lunges and jumping full body out of the water. And of course, their haunting love songs.
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