Scientific Name: Balaenoptera borealis Size: up to 60' Weight: 50 tons Status: Endangered
Sei Whales are grey in color with white bellies. They look very similar to Fin Whales, but there are two defining characteristics which help to set these two species apart.... 1) Sei Whales do not have the white lower jaw like Fin Whales do and 2) the Sei Whale's dorsal fin is generally much more obvious than a Fin Whale's. This species is known for its speed and can reach speeds of over 30 miles an hour in short bursts.
Sei Whales are considered to be rare visitors to the Gulf of Maine. Typically when we see them it's the early spring or late fall months. Much like other species of whales, the Sei Whales are drawn here when their preferred choice of food is abundant. For Sei Whales, that would be plankton or krill. While they are rare here, it seems to me that they are becoming slightly more frequent. The 2017 and 2108 seasons were especially productive for Sei Whale sightings and it wasn't just one or two individuals seen on a single day. It was more like dozens feeding in concentrated area. It's a shame that these whales aren't more of a steady visitor to our waters because they are one of my favorites to watch as they feed at the surface!
"We owe it to our children to be better stewards of the environment. The alternative? - a world without whales. It's too terrible to imagine." ~ Pierce Brosnan