SIX OF BAJA’S BEST WHALES

The Sunday Telegraph - Travel - - Cruising -

Whale sight­ings in Baja Cal­i­for­nia are of­ten from a dis­tance, but a few key fea­tures can help you to make a quick iden­ti­fi­ca­tion.

BLUE WHALE

Big­gest of all whales; tow­er­ing spout vis­i­ble for miles; mot­tled grey colour shows pale blue be­neath sur­face; tiny dor­sal fin set far back; some fluke (raise tail) be­fore div­ing but many don’t.

FIN WHALE

The sec­ond largest whale; tall spout; brown­ish body, with white throat mark­ings some­times vis­i­ble be­low sur­face; shark­like dor­sal fin set far back.

HUMP­BACK WHALE

Half blue whale size; blunt dor­sal fin and long flip­pers; white coloura­tion on flip­pers and un­der­side; of­ten waves tail; arches back be­fore div­ing.

GREY WHALE

Sim­i­lar size to hump­back, with blunter head and smaller flip­pers; no dor­sal fin; mot­tled grey coloura­tion, with patches of bar­na­cles; dou­ble blow forms heart shape. SPERM WHALE Sim­i­lar size to a hump­back but with huge square head; dark brown in colour; pods of 20 or more of­ten float at sur­face; flukes be­fore div­ing.

ORCA

Aka the killer whale – dol­phin, half the size of hump­back; of­ten seen in groups; black and white coloura­tion; round head and tall dor­sal fin; of­ten leaps.

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