The whale report for the first two weeks of June is in!
A total of 7 different species – 3 species of whale and 4 species of dolphins (Pilot Whales are considered dolphins) were seen off the coast of Sao Miguel during the first two weeks of June.
June’s whale watching trips started with a very nice surprise when a 6 meter long baby humpback whale was spotted really close to shore! The calf was observed breaching and swimming around peacefully in the shallow waters close to Sao Miguel. As the calf was alone it is thought that she was waiting for her mother to return from a feeding trip to deeper waters. Only a short amount of time was spent observing the calf to avoid stressing it and later on look-outs reported that the calf was no longer in situ and it is thought that, on reuniting with its mother, the pair were carrying on their voyage to the North Atlantic.
Humpback whales are baleen whales (like Blue and Fin Whales, all part of the suborder Mysticeti).
They have the following characteristics:
- Adults reach 11.5 to 15 meters in length and weigh 20 to 25 tonnes
- Newborns reach 4 to 5 meters in length and weigh 1 to 2 tonnes
- Their upper side is black or dark grey; the underside may be completely black or white, but usually partially white
- The species is known for its energetic behaviour; breaching, lobtailing and flipper-slapping
- They are also known to raise their flukes when diving deep