Below: This is an image of humpback whales mating.
|The Humpback Whale breeds from winter to early spring when the water is warm. Mating occurs close to the surface as shown in the above picture. For a humpback, the normal internal fertilization period is around 12 months. The female whale gives birth every 2-3 years. When a calf is born, it comes out tail first near the surface of the warm water. The calf is about 14 feet long and weighs 1 to 2.5 tons when born. Instinctively, the calf will swim to the surface, with the help from its mother, to receive its first breath of air which takes about 10 seconds. In less than an hour, the calf will be able to swim. After nursing for a year, the calf is introduced solid food.|
Above: A mother humpback whale and its calf swimming together in the ocean. The calf will stay with its mother for a year or longer.