Thursday, August 22, 2013

Feeding time in the Azores

During many of our recent tours we have been seeing a lot of feeding activity and today was another one of those days. There are many groups of common dolphins and Atlantic spotted dolphins spread out in the area and all were seen to be feeding this morning. The dolphins work together in groups to bring small fish like horse mackerel and sardines to the surface in tight balls. The feeding happens right at the surface so we can see this activity from our boats and sometimes if we are lucky also underwater during our dolphin swimming tours. Today like many previous days the dolphins were feeding together with birds (Cory's shearwaters, great shearwaters and yellow-legged gulls) and tuna (today we saw yellowfin tuna, bluefin tuna and bigeye tuna). The dolphins surround the fish underwater and herd them right to the surface so they cannot escape and then the dolphins attack from above and the tuna from the sides. In the afternoon we resighted the Atlantic spotted dolphins, again feeding, as well as bottlenose dolphins to make up a total of 3 dolphin species for today.

Photos from today:

Beautiful common dolphin

Common dolphins feeding with Cory's shearwaters

Bluefin tuna landing after a jump

Great shearwater - today is only the 2nd day this year they have been here this year!

Juvenile Atlantic spotted dolphin

Juvenile Atlantic spotted dolphin racing our boat

Beautiful spotted dolphin jump

A very spotted adult Atlantic spotted dolphin

Juvenile spotted dolphins in the perfect blue ocean this afternoon

Bottlenose dolphin

Juvenile spotted dolphin breaking the surface.

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