• Atlantic Naturalist

| Natural Calendar | May - Maio

Updated: Sep 30, 2019

Summary

Spring is on, and the flowers are out. Insects are crazy and so do land birds, with food and hormones in the air. The increasing hours of sun start to evaporate the humidity in the soil, creating a misty white cloud around the islands (betters seen from the sea; difficultating the work of the whale spotters). Winds from south tend to dry the fields quickly with salty breezes - also horographic clouds and actual fog is quite often present on this months.



Marine Life

The Portugeuse man-o-war reach their higher densities on this month (or the weeks surrounding this month). There is still great primary and secondary production at sea, with increased sun exposure and sometimes even krill can still be found on the beach.


Four Portuguese man-o-war attached as found on an aggregation at sea


Cetaceans Sei whales are seen crossing the region. Blue and Fin whales as well as humpback whales on migration can be observed quite regularly.

Bottlenose are active and mating is often observed on this period, as for most of the other delphinids. Common dolphins are also seen with young calfs.


Mating Bottlenose dolphins in May, off Horta city


Terrestrial life

A great number of plants are flowering as the sun is now stronger and still periods of precipitation occur. In the endemics and natives it is the month of the Daboecia azorica. Also the first Vaccinium cylindraceum can be seen flowering on particular places. (see photos below)


Azorean noctules are very ellusive at this time, hibernating, as they seem to avoid this season.


Birdfauna

Nesting as started for most species (some have even made the first eggs), and while males are still observed and heard, females become less seen, and mostly around the nest areas foraging for seeds, insects or worms. The common and roseate terns are investing on impressing and feeding their loved ones, flying with small pelagics on the beak back to the colonies.

Some of the Flowering Plants of this month

Native Plants


Daboecia azorica - Queiró

Vaccinium cylindraceum in the Levadas trail, Faial Island. Earlier flowering in May 2019

Vaccinium cylindraceum in the Pico Island. Earlier flowering in May 2019

Festuca petraea

Non-native Plants

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