In Full Swing! April 25, 2016

Most of the migrating whales passing California now are mothers with their babies, and there are MANY! The Gray Whale Census and Behavior Project at Palos Verdes Peninsula near Los Angeles, CA (33.74N, -118.41W) reports they have surpassed their previous maximum numbers for both northbound whales and northbound calves for this date! The windiest days challenge the whale counters as well as the moms and babies. Director Michael H. Smith of Gray Whales Count (34.40N, -119.69W) near Santa Barbara, CA, gives an example from windy April 24: "A calf was trying to nurse in high wind-tossed waves. The curious calf lifted its head to check out the other whales, as the milk-splattered mom tried to figure out how to get the milk into her calf while traveling though these waves." Director Smith also described the way mother/calf pairs travel. "They can move at 2 to 4 mph, but they just don't seem to do that through the nearshore of the Santa Barbara Channel. It took them an hour and a half to go one mile from the Isla Vista kelp to Counter Point kelp—not very fast and certainly not a direct route. They are adventure-loving meanderers." Keep watching daily data and our map for other sighting reports up the coast to Alaska!

Gray whale mother and calf on migration

Gray Whales Count