By Hayley Pugh
A photographer has captured some rare footage of a humpback whale tenderly feeding her calf just in time for Mother’s Day.
The intimate moment is extra special because whales usually nurse their young deep under the water so visibility is limited.
The extraordinary footage was shot on Silver Bank – the main calving and breeding ground for the majority of the North Atlantic humpback whale population.
Photographer, Jodi Frediani, from Santa Cruz, California captured the touching moment while swimming with the whale, called Canopy, and her male calf, which was born earlier this year.
Jodi, who swam with the whales on three different occasions over two weeks, said Canopy was incredibly calm and nursed just under the surface of the water giving her a rare view.
She said: “Canopy was very mellow and did not seem to mind being oogled by snorkelers in the water nearby.
“In fact, she was so calm, one afternoon she nursed her calf for quite some time while we watched with great interest.
“I’ve been swimming with humpback whales at this location for 16 seasons, and this was only the second or third time I’ve been privileged to watch a calf nurse.
“However, usually they are fairly deep in the water, so visibility is limited.
“Because Canopy was so calm with the swimmers, she rested quietly not far below the surface giving us an excellent view.
“We were able to watch her calf nurse first from the mammary slit or teat on one side, then the other, even getting to see his ‘little’ mouth move as he suckled.
“Sometimes he’d take a break and head up to the surface for a breath, then head back down to nurse again.
“Being able to observe this was a great treat. It was an honour to have Canopy be so accepting of us and to allow us to watch her baby nurse.”