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Category Archives: Naturalist Notebook

Naturalist’s Notebook: July 05 July 11

The most common of the toothed whales sighted in our waters is the Atlantic White-Sided Dolphin.  It is about moderate size for a dolphin, 7 to 9 feet long and weighing 400 to 450 pounds.  It is built very much like a bottlenose, but not as robust.  And the beak (rostrum) is shorter and thicker […]

Naturalist’s Notebook: June 29 to July 04

By now, most of the Northern Right Whales have moved out of Cape Cod Bay and further north to the Bay of Fundy or east to the Great South Channel where the populations of copepods are still blooming in the colder waters there.  These are truly huge animals, reaching lengths of 45 to 60 feet […]

Naturalist’s Notebook: June 21 to June 27

Minke whales are also fairly common here between April and October.  If you are looking, you will likely find some of them all year round.  The smallest of the baleen whales common to our waters, Minke whales are still very large animals.  Here, in the North Atlantic, they might be as long as 25 or […]

Naturalist’s Notebook: June 14 to June 20

As it happens, the largest whale common to the waters around the Cape is the second largest animal ever to have lived on this earth.  Finback whales are incredibly large.  In the North Atlantic, they can reach lengths between 65 and 75 feet and weigh somewhere around a ton per foot.  In the southern hemisphere, […]

Naturalist’s Notebook: June 07 to June 13.

One of the five species of whale commonly seen in the waters surrounding Cape Cod at this time of year is the humpback whale.  Humpback whales are moderately sized baleen whales.  Between thirty-five and fifty feet in lenth,  they usually weigh about a ton per foot.  Once you get close enough, you notice that they […]

Naturalist’s Notebook: May 31 to June 06

The Dolphin Fleet has been whalewatching for nearly 40 years.  In that time many species have been sighted in the waters off of Cape Cod.  The most common sightings include several species of baleen whale; including humpback whales. And finback whales. And minke whales. And Northern Right Whales. And also a species of toothed whale, […]

Naturalist’s Notebook: May 24 to May 30

This week, as in the past several weeks, a number of different species have been observed from the Dolphin Fleet boats.  They include both toothed and baleen whales.  I thought it might be a good idea to talk a little bit about the differences. There are roughly eighty species of whales in the waters of […]

Naturalist’s Notebook: May 17 to May 23

The continued references of feeding whales this week remind me that the area around Cape Cod and Stellwagen Bank are very much a huge restaurant for whales, as well as numerous other species.  Most of the whales that come to our waters in the springtime are returning here from warmer waters, further to the south, […]

Naturalist’s Notebook: May 10 to May 16

The big talk this week in the reports of whalewatch trips was the feeding of the various species of toothed and baleen whales.  With the Right Whales largely gone, most of this feeding would have been at the expense of small, schooling fish like herring, mackerel, cappelin, and sand launce.    The reality of being a […]

Naturalist’s Notebook: May 03 to 09

What struck me most in reading the accounts of this week’s trips is the aparent disappearance of the right whales.  Yes, they are probably still somewhere else within Cape Cod Bay, but there appear to be none remaining between Provincetown Harbor and Race Point.   Not a single Right Whale has been reported this week.  However, […]