UH marine mammal research captures rare video of newborn humpback whale


University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Kelli Abe Trifonovitch, (808) 228-8108
Chief Communications Officer, UH Communications
Posted: Jan 31, 2019

NOAA permit:  #20311-01
NOAA permit: #20311-01
NOAA permit:  #20311-01
NOAA permit: #20311-01

Link to video and sound (details below): https://bit.ly/2SjbVfo

What:  Rare high-quality drone video captured by the UH Marine Mammal Research Program of a newborn humpback whale calf and mother.

  • This is the closest (estimated within 20 minutes) that the researcher has been to a live birth in 25 years.

When:  January 20, 2019

Where:  Between Maui and Lānaʻi

Who:  Lars Bejder, director, Marine Mammal Research Program, Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, was the drone operator

Why:  Part of the programʻs study of the effects of climate change, human activities and prey availability on whales and dolphins.

 Other facts:


BROLL (1:35):  (all video MUST have:  NOAA permit:  #20311-01)

1 shot drone release

1 shot calf with mother, blood in the water

1 shot Lars Bejder

1 shot whale and calf

1 shot drone release, Lars controlling operations

3 shots whale and calf


Lars Bejder, Director, Marine Mammal Research Program, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (:21)

“This is quite extraordinary–within I would say 20 minutes of the humpback female giving birth to her calf.  We arrive up to the animals and there is still blood in the water and the calf very uncoordinated, but pretty much as close as we could get to a live birth.”

Bejder (:14)

”I think everybody can appreciate these kinds of footages, and it brings us closer to these animals and gives us a really majestic view of these creatures, and yeah I think it’s pretty spectacular.”