A Bucket List Species! – 3/3/22

Today we had a special wildlife encounter with one of my bucket list species. As we searched the ocean for whales and dolphins, they suddenly appeared on the surface. Calm and smooth rolling motions. With the dorsal fins set far to the back, it was immediately clear that we were looking at beaked whales.

As soon as we saw their strongly arched lower jaws, we could identify them as Blainville’s beaked whales (Mesoplodon densirostris): one male and two females with their immature offspring. They were extremely friendly, approaching our boat twice, and diving for only 5-10 minutes. They got me smiling like a baby!

Blainville’s beaked whales are deep-diving cetaceans that are not frequently seen in the Azores. They are one of the most poorly studied species in the region. Two individuals had clear markings on their dorsal fins – let’s cross our fingers that the  photo-ID photos will help us understand them better!


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