Sightings Summary May 2017

During the past month of May we saw 8 different cetacean species and 1 species of sea turtle.

Resident species:

Common dolphin

Risso’s dolphin

Bottlenose dolphin

Sperm whale

Migratory species:

Blue whale

Sei whale

Fin whale

Striped dolphin

Reptile visitors:

Loggerhead turtle

Loggerhead turtle / Caretta caretta

We had dolphin days and whale days, but overall the majority of our tours included both whales and dolphins 🙂

Fin whales were the most sighted among baleen whales and were followed by blue whales. The encounters with these species were usually spectacular as can only be when you meet the largest animals on Earth!

Sightings distribution map – May 2017


Sei whales on the other hand were seen only on three occasions. As other baleen whales they migrate between tropical and subtropical latitudes in winter and temperate and subpolar latitudes in summer. However, they do not reach such high latitudes as other rorqual species. They are also known to have an irregular occurrence in some feeding grounds, being abundant in some years and completely absent in others. Their winter distribution is widely dispersed, but is lacking a full mapping.

Their diet include krill, copepods which are small crustaceans, and small fishes such as anchovies, and sardines. However, they tend to feed on only one type of prey at a time.


During the month of May baleen whales are still the protagonist, so we have been enjoying seeing them knowing that soon they will be all gone to their feeding grounds.

Let see what June will bring to us! 🙂



Catarina Fonseca

About Catarina Fonseca

Catarina is Marine Biologist and was Main Guide and Technical & Scientific Director at TERRA AZUL from 2014 to 2017. She is dedicated, knowledgeable and a passionate friend to animals and humans. We hope she can come back soon to wildlife experiences with us. , and everyday works on ensuring the highest educational and conservation standards during spractice. She also contributes collecting Data collection for MONICET – The Azores Islands Cetaceans Research & Conservation long-term monitoring project.

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