Mistaken Identity: That’s Not a Minke Whale Seen in Maine, It’s Even Rarer
This whale is rarely seen in Maine waters.
Recently, Jay Borden, who summers in Vinalhaven, caught a whale on video. The Bangor Daily News reported it to be a minke whale. But it's not a minke, it's a pygmy sperm whale. According to the Bangor Daily News, it was a whale biologist at the University of Maine who first recognized it as a pygmy sperm whale. Then Zack Klyver, who has dedicated his life to studying and protecting Atlantic whales, seconded the identity.
First of all, this is a fabulous video. Secondly, it is 100 percent a Kogia.
Kogia is in the family of whales that includes pygmy and dwarf sperm whales.
Just like all marine mammals, pygmy sperm whales are considered rare under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Plus, there's not a whole lot known about them, because they avoid boats and planes used to track and measure whale populations. Thanks to this incredible video, they could actually see that it wasn't a dwarf sperm whale, which is sometimes hard to do, according to the NOAA.
You never know what rare find you'll capture when out on your boat, or even on a whale watch. It's like last year when footage of a humpback whale was taken in the waters off South Portland, Maine. South Portland!
It's why we put up with weeks of bitter cold; because there is no other place on earth quite as special as Maine and all the creatures that visit.
Here's to a healthy, long life for all the whales who find themselves in Maine waters.