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Gray whale migration: aerial viewKate Wynne

Spring 2016: January - June
Monthly: Follow the whales' northward migration from nursery lagoons in Mexico to feeding grounds in the Arctic.
Daily Counts: From February to May, two research teams share data from the California coast, as northbound whales pass.

Gray whale calf on first northward migration May 16: New Records Set!
What a week! Two of the three scientific survey sites in California set brand new record high sightings for Gray whale cow/calf pairs heading north!
Migrating gray whale mothers and calves May 9: Calf Stampede?
Mothers and babies are the tail of the parade, and it's a whopper! May 7 brought a "calf stampede" past Goleta, California, with 16 babies passing by with Mom.
Gray whale mother and baby on migrating north

April 25: In Full Swing
Most of the whales migrating past California are moms and babies, and there are MANY! What challenges do windy days present?

 

Gray whale mother and calf on migration north April 18: Babies Surge North!
Our three scientific survey sites report: The babies are heading north in larger numbers and the final phase of the migration is well underway!
Baby gray whale covered with kelp as it migrates past California coast April 11: Calf Phase Begins
Near Los Angeles, Alisa Schulman Janiger says, "Our cow/calf migration is well ahead of all seasons to date!" Will it be a record year?
spyhopping gray whale on migration
April 4: Mendonoma Counters
The data tell us whales are still coming but we're in the lull before the mom/baby migration builds. Meet two whale counters along the whale trail!
Migrating gray whale mom and her calf

March 21: Early Start for Cow/Calf Phase
Does an early peak to the first phase of the migration past California mean a bounty of moms and babies will soon head north?

Gray whales migrating north past Los Angeles

March 7: First Calf, Booming Numbers!
The first mom/baby sighting past Los Angeles came March 4 in what is the biggest northbound migration period there since 1987!

Northbound gray whale, migrating close to shore by Los Angeles

February 22: Off to a Good Start
Whales in record numbers are pasing close to the California coast! The turnaround came early this year.

Toursts enjoy seeing whales in nursery lagoons of Mexico

February 1: Two-Way Traffic
By mid-month, northbound whales passing the California coast outnumber the southbound. Tourists see whales up close in the nursery lagoons of Baja, Mexico.

Tourists watch baby gray whale in San Ignacio Lagoon.

January 2016
During January, southbound gray whales are courting and mating along the migration route. Many of the migrants reach the warm lagoons of Mexico.

Photo: Keith Jones

Gray Whale spyhoppingAdrienne DeLiso
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