First baleen whale of the month :D

This morning we had a nice surprise, after few days in the company of dolphins, either common or Risso’s, our lookout spotted… fin whales! yay!!!  😀  This is the first time we see baleen whales this month. Apparently there were two individuals, but it was difficult to distinguish them as they kept surfacing in different directions.

On individual had an ectoparasite hanging out from its body, likely a parasitic crustaceans known as Pennella. These parasites, which can reach a length of 30cm, embed their heads into the whale skin and blubber and feed on their host’s blood. Usually, only few parasites can be observed attached to the host’s body, but infested cases ca also occur. Despite the Pennella attached to its flank, this fin whale was looking good, and kept feeding until it disappeared from our sight.

fin whale surfacing and showing a parasite attached to its body below the dorsal fin


Our tour couldn’t be complete without our beautiful resident species, the common dolphin! A large group was feeding with some Cory’s shearwaters, and some individuals later on started engaging in socializing behaviour. Here below are also some pictures of the little islet in front of Vila Franca do Campo.

The baleen whale season is starting, don’t miss it!!

Common buzzard (Buteo buteo) on the Vila Franca Islet

Rock resembling the profile of a dog’s head in Vila Franca do Campo Islet


Arianna Cecchetti

About Arianna Cecchetti

Arianna is a Marine Biologist and was Main Guide at TERRA AZUL since 2009, and Technical & Scientific Director until 2018. Originally from Italy, she sees herself more as a world citizen. Arianna deserves the very best, and we hope she can come back to share her passion for the sea with us again.

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