North Pacific humpback whales, a mother and calf pair swim closely together just under the surface of the ocean.  The calf will remain with its mother for about a year, migrating from Hawaii to Alaska to feed on herring, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

North Pacific humpback whales, a mother and calf pair swim closely together just under the surface of the ocean. The calf will remain with its mother for about a year, migrating from Hawaii to Alaska to feed on herring. Megaptera novaeangliae, Molokai, Hawaii.

North Pacific humpback whale, breach, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback whale breaching, near Molokai, Hawaii. Megaptera novaeangliae. It is suspected the breaching often has a communicative purpose which depends on the behavioral context of the moment.

Humpback whale breaching with pectoral fins lifting spray from the ocean surface, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale Breach, Maui

Humpback whale lunge feeding on Antarctic krill, with mouth open and baleen visible.  The humbpack's throat grooves are seen as its pleated throat becomes fully distended as the whale fills its mouth with krill and water.  The water will be pushed out, while the baleen strains and retains the small krill, Megaptera novaeangliae, Gerlache Strait

Humpback Whale Lunge Feeding On Antarctic Krill, Gerlache Strait

Water falling from the fluke (tail) of a humpback whale as the whale dives to forage for food in the Santa Barbara Channel, Megaptera novaeangliae, Santa Rosa Island, California

Humpback whale waterfall, Megaptera novaeangliae, Channel Islands, California.

Humpback whale mother, calf (top), male escort (rear), underwater.  A young humpback calf typically swims alongside or above its mother, and male escorts will usually travel behind the mother, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale Mother And Calf, Maui

Adult male humpback whale bubble streaming underwater.  The male escort humpback whale seen here is emitting a curtain of bubbles as it swims behind a female (left) during a competitive group.  The bubble curtain may be meant as warning or visual obstruction to other male whales interested in the mother, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale Bubble Display, Maui

Adult male humpback whale bubble streaming underwater.  The male escort humpback whale seen here is emitting a curtain of bubbles as it swims behind a mother and calf.  The bubble curtain may be meant as warning or visual obstruction to other nearby male whales interested in the mother, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale Underwater Bubble Display, Maui

North Pacific humpback whale, escort in competitive group makes fast close pass, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale Male Escort In Fast Close Pass, Maui

A humpback whale raises it fluke out of the water, the coast of Del Mar and La Jolla is visible in the distance, Megaptera novaeangliae

A peduncle throw, or tail lob, this humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) uses its long pectoral fins as levers to swing its fluke and caudal stem out of the water, flinging water everywhere.

Humpback whale breaching, pectoral fin and rostrom visible, Megaptera novaeangliae, San Diego, California

Humpback whale breaching near whale watching boat

North Pacific humpback whale, peduncle throw, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale Peduncle Throw, Maui

A humpback whale raises it fluke out of the water, the coast of Del Mar and La Jolla is visible in the distance, Megaptera novaeangliae

A Humpback Whale Raises It Fluke Out Of The Water, Del Mar

Humpback whale breaching, pectoral fin and rostrom visible, Megaptera novaeangliae, San Diego, California

Humpback Whale Breaching, San Diego

Adult male humpback whale singing, suspended motionless underwater.  Only male humpbacks have been observed singing.  All humpbacks in the North Pacific sing the same whale song each year, and the song changes slightly from one year to the next, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Adult Male Humpback Whale Singing Underwater, Maui

Humpback whale competitive group, underwater, swimming quickly and one trailing a stream of bubbles, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale Competitive Group Underwater, Maui

Adult male humpback whale bubble streaming underwater.  The male escort humpback whale seen here is emitting a curtain of bubbles as it swims behind a mother and calf.  The bubble curtain may be meant as warning or visual obstruction to other nearby male whales interested in the mother, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale Underwater Bubble Display, Maui

North Pacific humpback whales, part of a larger competitive group of humpbacks, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale, Maui

North Pacific humpback whale, peduncle throw, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale Peduncle Throw, Maui

Southern humpback whale in Antarctica, with significant diatomaceous growth (brown) on the underside of its fluke, lifting its fluke before diving in Neko Harbor, Antarctica, Megaptera novaeangliae

Southern Humpback Whale In Antarctica, Neko Harbor

Humpback whale lunge feeding on Antarctic krill, with mouth open and baleen visible.  The humbpack's pink throat grooves are seen as its pleated throat becomes fully distended as the whale fills its mouth with krill and water.  The water will be pushed out, while the baleen strains and retains the small krill, Megaptera novaeangliae, Gerlache Strait

Humpback whale lunge feeding on Antarctic krill, Antarctic Peninsula.

Humpback whale competitive group, several adult male escort whales swimming closely together as part of a larger competitive group, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale Competitive Group, Maui

North Pacific humpback whales, socializing trio of adults, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale Socializing Underwater, Maui

North Pacific humpback whales, a mother and young calf swim near scientific research divers, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

North Pacific humpback whales, a mother and young calf swim near scientific research divers. Megaptera novaeangliae.

Humpback whale competitive group, several adult male escort whales swimming closely together as part of a larger competitive group, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale Competitive Group, Maui

Humpback whale in Antarctica.  A humpback whale swims through the beautiful ice-filled waters of Neko Harbor, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica, Megaptera novaeangliae

Humpback Whale In Antarctica, Neko Harbor

Humpback whale male escort emits a stream of bubbles during competitive group socializing.  The whale is swimming so fast that the bubbles pass back alongside the whale, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale Bubble Display, Maui

Large competitive group of humpback whales, eleven adult humpback whales seen in this image, part of a 16 whale competitive group, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Large Humpback Whale Competitive Group Underwater, Maui

North Pacific humpback whale, head standing near surface, Maui

Humpback Whale Underwater Head Stand, Maui

Male North Pacific humpback whale streams a trail of bubbles.  The primary male escort whale (center) creates a curtain of bubbles underwater as it swims behind a female (right), with other challenging males trailing behind in a competitive group.  The bubbles may be a form of intimidation from the primary escort towards the challenging escorts, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale Competitive Group Underwater Bubble Display, Maui

Humpback whale, abandoned calf alongside University of Hawaii research boat.  This young calf lived only a few days after being abandoned or separated from its mother, and was eventually attacked by tiger sharks, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Abandoned Humpback Whale Calf, Maui

Hawaiian humpback whale underwater, sun beams dappling the whale in clear oceanic waters, Maui

Hawaiian Humpback Whale Underwater, Maui

Adult male north Pacific humpback whale bubble streaming underwater in the midst of a competitive group.   The male escort humpback whale seen here is emitting a curtain of bubbles as it swims closely behind a female, .  The bubble curtain may be meant as warning or visual obstruction to other nearby males interested in the female, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale Underwater Bubble Display, Maui

North Pacific humpback whale raising its fluke before diving underwater to forage for herring in southeast Alaska, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale, Maui

Humpback whale breaching, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale Breach, Maui

Primary escort male humpback whale bubble streaming during competitive group socializing.  This primary escort is swimming behind a female. The bubble curtain may be a form of intimidation towards other male escorts that are interested in the female, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale Bubble Display, Maui

North Pacific humpback whales, competitive group, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whales Underwater, Maui

Southern humpback whale in Antarctica, lifting its fluke (tail) before diving in Cierva Cove, Antarctica, Megaptera novaeangliae

Southern Humpback Whale In Antarctica, Cierva Cove

Humpback whale holding fluke (tail) aloft out of the water, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale, Maui

Humpback whale with one of its long pectoral fins raised aloft out of the water, swimming on its side (laterally) as it does so, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale Pectoral Fin, Maui

North Pacific humpback whale, adult male with bloody head nodules wounded from colliding with other escorts during competitive interactions, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale, Maui

Male humpback whale with head raised out of the water, braking and pushing back at another whale by using pectoral fins spread in a "crucifix block", during surface active social behaviours, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale, Maui

Humpback whale in Antarctica.  A humpback whale swims through the beautiful ice-filled waters of Neko Harbor, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica, Megaptera novaeangliae

Humpback Whale In Antarctica, Neko Harbor

Scarring of this humpback whale's fluke allow researchers to identify this particular whale from season to season, Megaptera novaeangliae, Santa Rosa Island, California

Extensive fluke scarring on humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) makes this fluke ID photograph valuable for researchers capture/recapture study.

Perfect view of the ventral surface of a humpback whales fluke, as the whale raises its fluke just before diving underwater.  The white patches and scalloping along the trailing edge of the fluke make this whale identifiable when it is observed from year to year, Megaptera novaeangliae, Santa Rosa Island, California

Humpback whale fluke ID photograph, the white patches and scalloping along the trailing edge of the fluke make this whale identifiable in capture/recapture studies. Channel Islands, California.

Humpback whale blowhole, showing twin nares (nostrils) which have a few small parasites clinging to the whale's skin around the blowhole openings, Megaptera novaeangliae, Santa Rosa Island, California

Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) blowhole, showing twin nares (nostrils) which have small parasites clinging to the skin around the blowhole openings. Channel Islands, California.

Humpback whale competitive group, several adult male escort whales swimming closely together as part of a larger competitive group, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale Competitive Group, Maui

North Pacific humpback whale underwater, Maui

North Pacific Humpback Whale Underwater, Maui

Humpback whale holding fluke (tail) aloft out of the water, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale, Maui

Humpback whales at the surface, volcano and clouds, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback whales at the surface, resting and breathing between dives, with West Maui volcano and clouds. Megaptera novaeangliae.

Male humpback whale with head raised out of the water, braking and pushing back at another whale by using pectoral fins spread in a "crucifix block", during surface active social behaviours, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale, Maui

Humpback whale swimming with raised pectoral fin (ventral aspect), Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale Pectoral Fin, Maui

Humpback whale surface active group including head lunge and two fluke swipes, whale watching boat, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Whale Watching, Maui

Humpback whale competitive group, surfacing and blowing, Megaptera novaeangliae, Molokai

Humpback Whale, Molokai

North Pacific humpback whale showing extensive scarring, almost certainly from a boat propeller, on dorsal ridge, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale, Maui

Humpback whale performing a peduncle throw at the surface, swinging its fluke (tail) sideways and flinging water all over, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale Peduncle Throw, Maui

Humpback whale performing a peduncle throw at the surface, swinging its fluke (tail) sideways and flinging water all over, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui, San Diego, Hawaii

Humpback Whale Peduncle Throw, Maui

North Pacific humpback whale rounds out in front of whale watching boat, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Whale Watching, Maui, Hawaii

North Pacific humpback whale at the surface with open mouth and inflated throat, in front of whale watching boat, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale Head Lunge, Maui

North Pacific humpback whale rounds out near observers, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale, Maui

North Pacific humpback whales, competitive group exhaling at the surface, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale, Maui

Humpback whale performing a head slap, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale Breach, Maui

Humpback whale performing a peduncle throw, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale Peduncle Throw, Maui

Humpback whale swimming inverted with both pectoral fin raised clear of the water, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale Pectoral Fin, Maui

Humpback whale swimming with raised pectoral fin (dorsal aspect), Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale Pectoral Fin, Maui

Humpback whale fluking up, ventral aspect of fluke visible, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale, Maui

Humpback whale fluking up, raising tail before diving, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale, Maui

Humpback whale raising its fluke (tail) prior to a dive, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale, Maui

Humpback whale raising its fluke (tail) prior to a dive, Megaptera novaeangliae, Frederick Sound

Humpback Whale, Frederick Sound

Humpback whale performing a peduncle throw at the surface, swinging its fluke (tail) sideways and flinging water all over, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale Peduncle Throw, Maui

Humpback whale lunging clear of the water and falling forward with pectoral fins extended, a behavior known as a head slap, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale, Maui

Humpback whale raising fluke (tail) out of the water before making a dive, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale, Maui

Humpback whale performing a peduncle throw at the surface, swinging its fluke (tail) sideways and flinging water all over, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale Peduncle Throw, Maui

Humpback whale lunging out of the water at it reaches the surface, exhaling in a burst of bubbles, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale Head Lunge, Maui

Humpback whale calf breaching, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale, Maui

Humpback whale swimming with raised pectoral fin (dorsal aspect), Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback Whale Pectoral Fin, Maui

Humpback whale raising its fluke (tail) prior to a dive, Megaptera novaeangliae, Frederick Sound

Humpback Whale, Frederick Sound

Humpback whale raising its fluke (tail) prior to a dive, Megaptera novaeangliae, Frederick Sound

Humpback Whale, Frederick Sound