Beyond the Aquarium
A Spring Visitor
to Boston Harbor
A video of a small marine animal surfacing and diving in downtown Boston Harbor near the Seaport. It shows a juvenile harbor porpoise, the smallest member of the dolphin family here in New England. The tweet got a lot of attention, even The Boston Globe took notice. Take a look!
— Jen richard (@Jenboston) March 21, 2017
Harbor porpoises are gray and have a blunt face, lacking the long snout characteristic of so many other species in the dolphin family. This particular animal is probably a little over 4 feet long and even as an adult will only be a little over 5 feet.
Every late winter and early spring, young harbor porpoises frequent eastern Massachusetts harbors from Fall River to Newburyport and everywhere in between. In Boston Harbor, they are seen from the Fish Pier in the Seaport to the salt piles all the way up Chelsea Creek. They are difficult to see as they are so little and at the surface only briefly.
They will come in to forage for all kinds of spawning fish and are usually here from early March to mid-May. Once the water temperature reaches the 50s, they depart for cooler waters further offshore and to the north.