A whale of a picture © Ralph Pace/Minden Pictures
The family drama you see playing out here in the Pacific Ocean near Maui, Hawaii, is a humpback whale calf getting a little nudge from its mom. She presumably wants the sleepy youngster to practice surfacing, something these amazing marine mammals are famous for doing in dramatic fashion. Winter is calving season for the Hawaiian population of humpbacks. Thousands arrive from their feeding grounds in the North Pacific to swim and breed in the warm Hawaiian waters, making them a common sight from November until April. Because they"re known to hang around near the ocean"s surface, breaching or slapping the water with their tails, humpbacks are a favorite of whale watchers everywhere.