For the past five weeks two bottlenose whales, presumably a mother and her calf, have stayed in Pollurinn, the Akureyri harbor in northeast Iceland. On Friday, two other bottlenose whales appeared in Pollurinn.
Children from the 6th grade of Síduskóli elementary school (11-year-olds) on a field trip onboard the boat Húni II were the first to spot the newcomers in the harbor on Friday morning, Morgunbladid reports.
The four bottlenose whales swim in a group around Pollurinn and often come very close to the seashore to the delight of spectators. The first two have sometimes jumped out of the water when they are playful.
It is uncertain why the bottlenose whales swam into Pollurinn. According to the latest theory the first two may have been fleeing from a flock of killer whales. This summer whale watchers observed killer whales slaughter a minke, which is about the same size as a bottlenose whale.
Others have pointed out that unusually many bottlenose whales have been spotted in shallow waters around Iceland recently and there have also been many beached bottlenose whales, so perhaps the stock is suffering from a disease or noise created by humans is driving them to shore.
The bottlenose whales in Pollurinn, however, seem fit and cheerful and well fed. Such whales usually feed on squid, which cannot be found in Akureyri harbor, so these friends of Akureyri seem to be feeding on herring instead.
At this time last year two bottlenose whales swam into the Westman Islands harbor and were driven back out to the ocean on boats. The Akureyri harbor lies at the end of the long Eyjafjördur fjord, however, so it may prove too difficult to do the same there.
Click here to read more about the bottlenose whales in Pollurinn.