Sunday’s in Azores are filled with excitement, summer is here and people on Sundays always get together to grill at the family BBQ.

But before going grilling today we went to the ocean and what a sight.

Atlantic Spotted Dolphins (Stenella frontalis) that left our guests feeling amazed,  spotties travel in big groups and no matter  how many times you see them it is impressive every single time, because of the size of the pods that can be here in the Azores of hundreds of individuals. They as you may know already are born with a grey coloration that gets colored spots when aging, like humans get wrinkles dolphins get spots, making it easier to differentiate adults from younger dolphins in a pod.



Our guests also enjoyed the Oceanic Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), if you have ever seen a bottlenose dolphin you already know how they look, especially because it is the most popular species in modern culture and the most studied cetacean.

BUT … an Oceanic bottlenose dolphin is a majestic creature that leaves everyone with our mouths open when approaching the boat since they can grow up to 4 m like the animals that we sighted today, they are just impressive no other words can be used to describe them.

On today’s tour beaked whales were also sighted, as you may know as well beaked whales are what we call here in Terra Azul “Occasional sightings”, not because it is rare to see them yet because it is hard since these animals are noise sensitive and get easily bothered by boats, adding to that the fact that they are deep diving species. The family of the Beaked whales, Ziphiidae, are a family that is hard to study and identify the exact species because of their behaviour and avoidance to humans. Here is an example of a Sowerby’s beaked whale (Mesoplodon bidens) belonging to this group of whales.


Sowerby’s beaked whale. Source:


So when today sighted it was truly a special moment.

Again a very special moment spent at sea, we hope all have an amazing Sunday the same our guests had this morning.





Anaïs Builly

About Anaïs Builly

Anais Builly is Marine Biologist and Master of Biology, Ecology and Ecosystems, and of Bioproducts & Bioproduction of Marine Ecosystems, studied in France and South Africa. She is also Marine Wildlife Guide & Community Manager at TERRA AZUL. She is passionate about conservation of marine mammals, and loves being out in the ocean everyday.

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