Migaloo is the only known white (albino) humpback whale in the world and he lives in our East Coast waters. He was first officially photographed in 1991 of Cape Byron, his age then was estimated to be around 5 years, so we estimate his age to be around 25 years in 2011
He migrates annually with all the other humpbacks, but can be quite elusive and sometimes has not been seen travelling the coast until he has reached is destination in far North Queensland and sometimes has not been seen for a few years running – where does he go?
On the 1st July 2009, we saw Migaloo at 9.45am off Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast Queensland. He was 10 nuatical miles off shore swimming with two other Humpback whales. He is awesome!
MIGALOO UPDATED SIGHTINGS:
Whitsundays July 09
22/9/09 – Burnett Heads Qld 4pm – travelling south
28/9/09 – Byron Bay NSW – travelling south with a very large group of humpbacks
This journey is 549 klms by car, it took Migaloo 7 days to get from Burnett Heads to Byron – therefore 549 klms divided by 7 days = 78.43 klms per day divided by 24hrs = 3.27 klms per hour.
Migaloo is travelling at around 3.5 klms per hour as the car drives – nautical miles yet to be worked out.
2010 – Migaloo was sighted – supposedly a few times up the east coast, firstly at
Crowdy Head 1pm Sunday 20th June
Byron Bay 9am Monday 28th June – probably Baloo
Fraser Island Monday 28th June – is there two? No only one Migaloo and the correct sighting is Fraser Island.
To find out more information and facts about migaloo you can visit www.migaloo.com.au
Migaloo off Port Macquarie 13/6/05
|Migaloo off Port Macquarie 13/6/05||
a very rare site
Migaloo off the Gold Coast 1/7/09
“My Auntie” is Tweed Heads Icon Whale
‘My auntie’ is one of the best known whales in Trish’s catalogue. She has been watching and photographing her since 1994.
Trish has photographed her in Hervey Bay in 1994, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006.
My Auntie has had calves 1997 (Sagan), 2002 (Hodda a female) and 2006 (Ryle).
‘My Auntie’ is a particularly interesting whale and Trish is preparing an extended film about her and her calves.
She was named by Trish and Paul Hodda, President of the Australian Whale Conservation Society in 1994.
Her 2002 calf was named after Paul.
Her 2006 calf ‘Ryle’ was named by the Vice-Chancellor of Southern Cross University Paul Clark
during our 2002 Whale Research Expedition.
‘My Auntie’ had been hit by a boat in her early life and had propellor marks on the right hand side of her head and a strangely shaped dorsal, which is how we recognise her.
Trish Franklin ©The Oceania Project/iWhales.org.
My Auntie has been observed in seven of 13 years, between 1994 and 2006. During the first encounter in 1994 we learned she was a female and her size suggested she was an older whale. Propeller marks on the left hand side of her head and, damage to her dorsal fin show that she had survived a vessel strike. The shape of her damaged and distinctive dorsal led to her name.
Above: My auntie puts her fluke high out of the water as she leads the males a merry chase during a competitive group encounter in 2001.
My Auntie was observed in competitive groups in 1994, 1998 and 2001. A competitive group consists of males involved in very strong interactions amongst each other in pursuit of a single female, known as the nuclear female. The behaviour amongst the males includes strong breaths, bubble streaming, head-lunges, and lob-tails. Often, as the aggressive interactions between the males escalate, they will intentionally bump and scrape into each other, causing vertical and horizontal marks. Usually one male adopts a dominant position, as principal escort beside the female, while other males called ‘challengers’ seek to displace him from the female’s side. Some males stay on the outskirts of the action and are called secondary escorts. These may be younger males watching and learning how to behave within a competitive group. Curiously females generally emerge unmarked from competitive groups but, like My Auntie, they often make their dominance and intentions very clear with strong behaviours such as lob-tails, and inverted lob-tails.
The left hand side of My Aunties propeller damaged dorsal.
Peru, a challenger to Hans Solo, has damage to his dorsal fin
from interactions with other males within the competitive groups.
He also displays the horizontal and vertical lines typically seen
on the bodies of mature male escorts.