Journey North News: Spring 2007

Posted Wednesdays: Feb. 7, Feb 21, March 7, March 21, April 4, April 18, May 2, and May 16.

May 16, 2007
Way up in Kodiak, Alaska, kids from Main Elementary tried to count the whales at Narrow Cape on May 2 but there were too many! Hungry whales are ready to swallow at least 67 tons of food during a 5- or 6-month feast on the Arctic feeding grounds. Wayne Perryman reports the 4th lowest calf count in 14 years. Why? See how kids at Rama Public School in Ontario are taking action for the whales' ocean habitat. "We wish all the whales, counted or not, safe passage," writes Michael at Gray Whales Count. He speaks for all of us as we end our season today!

May 2, 2007
Very few whales remain in the lagoons, and a mom and calf were seen at Narrow Cape, Alaska on April 30! Where are the others? "Last year at this time, we had counted 75 calves. Today we saw our 22nd calf of 2007," reported Michael on April 21. Wayne Perryman says it's the fourth lowest year for calves. Could the whales possibly make their 10,000-mile migration without any rest or sleep? Find out what we know (and don't know) about whale sleep. Then answer: How is a whale's sleep like your sleep? How is it different? Photo Keith Jones
April 18, 2007
What is causing the slowdown? Are the whales are just hard to see in recent weather conditions? The final phase of the migration is still ahead, but it sounds like Gray Whale enemy #1 is ready and waiting. Our slide show tells ideas about how whales navigate their epic journey, and we hear about a few wayward young whales. Observer comments this week teach us a lot about the Gray Whales, while our journal question helps you learn about yourself. Come join us!

April 4, 2007
The first arrivals were spotted near Kodiak, Alaska on April 1 (no fooling)! Observers along the coast are reporting amazing sights, from bubble blasts to a mom paddling on her back with junior bobbing and spyhopping nearby. Our animated graphic of migration order shows who’s coming next. Meanwhile, moms and babies in the lagoons inspire heartwarming tales that may make you wonder: What are the whales' possible intentions in approaching human visitors there? Photo P. Celia

March 21, 2007
The whales have reached Puget Sound! The parade of northbound Eschrichtius robustus is in full swing. Has the migration reached its first peak? Three moms with babies have passed one of our official California counting stations, and numbers have been high along the California coast. Take a lesson in whale watcher's lingo and then test your skills. What's a young whale doing in Santa Barbara Harbor? Photo Jean Louis

March 7, 2007
Here they come! Whales are being seen in higher numbers on the California coast, and observers in Oregon, reported their first northbound gray whales. If the Oregon whales swim 5 miles per hour, 24 hours a day, how long will it take them to reach Alaska? Join us on a photo tour in a lagoon for some fun surprises, and let the comments of all our observers make you feel like you were there!

Photo: Linda Lewis

February 21, 2007
Hopeful whale watchers are flocking to the Mexican lagoons and Pacific Coast from far and wide to see the whales. The fun is in the lagoons, where new babies are learning life's lessons from Mom. But fewer whales are present than last year. Right on time, however, is the turnaround date when more whales are counted going north than south. Click the arrows on our new globe to "visit" four observation posts with news. Great whale stories are coming your way! Photo Mike Hawe
February 7, 2007
The longest migration of any mammal is underway! California gray whales are swimming south AND north along the Pacific Coast. Among those still headed for Mexico were 19 newborn babies with their moms. Explore the outlook for babies born in the open ocean instead of the warm lagoons of Mexico. See our booklet-slideshow to learn why gray whales rule when it comes to amazing animal migrations. Welcome to the 2007 journey north! Photo Keith Jones
Gray Whale

Many gray whales are still plowing south on their 5,000 to 6,000-mile swim from Alaska to Mexico. But most gray whales are in the warm Mexican lagoons right now. They started arriving in December to mate, give birth, and nurture their newborns. So far, only a few gray whales have started the northward migration back to the Arctic. As they move northward up the coast, we'll be hearing first sightings and news from a network of observers along the way.
Find out how to report your sightings and track the migration on real-time migration maps. >>



Overview of the Annual Migration Cycle