Journey North News: Spring 2009

Posted Wednesdays: Feb. 4, 18, March 4, 18, April 1, 15, 29, and May 13.

FINAL: May 13, 2009
Hungry whales are nearing the end of their epic migration, each ready to swallow at least 67 tons of food during a 5-month feast on the arctic feeding grounds. But the California point-count sites did not see the big push of cow/calf pairs they expected over the past two weeks. Where are the babies? Team up with scientist Wayne Perryman as he dives into fluctuating calf counts by looking for correlations. Take action for the whales' ocean habitat and dig into a list of summer resources as we end our season today. Go Whales!
April 29, 2009
Moms and babies are heading north, some with bottlenose dolphins as escorts! The first cow/calf pairs have been spotted in British Columbia. Despite a slow start, experts are watching for the cow/calf surge. If you hear a fellow whale-watcher call "BLOW, 300 degrees at 45 mil," how far offshore is that whale? Students from Malibu High School who visited the "Gray Whales Count" site learned how to answer that question, and you can too. What do scientists know about gray whale sleep? What don't they know? See our photo study and you may say, "What a waste!"
April 15, 2009
The whales are heading north in earnest! See an aerial photo of a pod in Alaska, and a fun video of the few left in the lagoon. Read tales of calf mischief on the migration trail and learn the identity of gray whale enemy number one. The folks at Gray Whales Count have been interviewed by radio and TV; we proudly share those links! There's good news, too, on the San Diego Harbor whale. Your citizen science observations offer terrific reading. Enjoy the latest news. Photo Caroline Armon
April 1, 2009
Here come the babies! The first cow/calf pairs were reported this week at all three California point-count sites. We're celebrating the first gray whale reported in Alaska too! Find out how baby "Barnita" got her nickname, and calculate how many whales remain in San Ignacio Lagoon. With climate in the Arctic changing faster than anywhere else on earth, our climate studies feature introduces the impact on the great whales. Get the rest of the story on the Harbor Whale, and prepare your questions for Kim Shelden, our gray whale expert, in this exciting year.
March 18, 2009
"What a TERRIFIC northbound gray whale migration we are having —
so much more action than in the past several years," exclaims the ACS/LA Gray Whale Census Director.
Proof is on the News pages. No cow/calf pairs yet, but surging numbers past our California point-count sites. Underwater instruments enable listening to migrating whales at the Gray Whales Count site! Two students touch whales in the lagoon, where babies are getting spring training. With the recent news of a wayward (lost, or curious?) young whale, our slide show explores how whales find their way on a journey longer than 5,000 miles. What's the concern about the "Skinnys"? What's a visible clue to a whale's age?
March 4, 2009
Migration is picking up, and so is excitement! First northbounders were reported as far as Tofino, BC. ACS/Los Angeles had their biggest day yet, with 17 whales on March 2. Gray Whales Count surpassed 100 so far this season. What are two reasons why a long migration could be less risky than staying in one place? Get a close look inside a whale's mouth. Identify common whale behaviors with our new photo quiz, and find out how whale watch captains knew they had spotted a returning whale called "Patch." Photo Renee Bonner

February 18, 2009 
People watching at Los Angeles for what's called the "turnaround" date have news, and Gray Whales Count shares amazing observations. Farther up the coast, the FIRST northbound whale was spotted at Depoe Bay, Oregon! Fill in the blanks to tell a story with data from San Ignacio Lagoon, where moms and babies frolic and counts are looking good. Two scientists weigh in on babies born early at sea. Get up close to a spouting whale with our video clip, and see what you can learn from a baby whale's face.
Photo Keith Jones 

February 4, 2009 
The longest migration of any mammal is underway! Pacific Gray whales are swimming south AND north along the Pacific coast. Meet whale baby
"Katy 2.5" and learn the story behind that name. Enjoy our photo slideshow to see why gray whales rule when it comes to amazing animal journeys, and find out where on the migration trail the whales have been seen heading north. For you and lucky whale watchers, it's time for the greatest show on Earth!
Welcome Teachers: See Getting Started



Overview of the Annual Migration Cycle