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Humpback Whale Birthing Observed by WAMSI Researchers at Pender Bay 12/7/11

Today (Tuesday 12th July) the WAMSI cetacean research team at Pender Bay witnessed a birthing of a humpback calf 3.5 km due north of the observation point. The mother came into the bay from the seaward side and proceeded to exhibit strange behaviours, including rolling on her back. Moments later the research team observed the mother lifting the newly born calf out of the water on her nose. For the next couple of hours the newborn calf was fairly active before the mother and calf drifted out of the bay on the outgoing tide. This observation further reaffirms that Pender Bay is a birthing and breeding, as well as staging, area for humpback whales, as recently described by Blake et.al in a recent paper "Monitoring of Humpback Whales in the Pender Bay Region, Kimberley, Western Australia". Two other birthings were witnessed during the 2010 survey.