Back First Calf and Booming Numbers Journey North

March 7, 2016
The first northbound mother/baby pair spotted passing Los Angeles was reported March 5 by the Gray Whale Census and Behavior Project! This is early, although they've seen cow/calf pairs by now in five of the past 32 seasons.

"This season's northbound sightings started early and picked up fast, right after our migration turnaround on 17 February," reports Census Director Alisa Schulman-Janiger. "Despite extensive fog this week, we have been seeing 75-90 northbound grays per day — the biggest northbound period we have experienced since 1987! We are way above last season (see chart) and we have already passed up 11 previous season totals!"

March 4, with 90 northbound gray whales, was a new season high at the Gray Whale Census and Behavior Project.

Gray Whales Count, near Santa Barbara, tallied 50 northbound gray whales on March 3 — their new season high in this surprising migration.

"Continuing these surveys can highlight trends, which may be meaningful," says Director Michael H. Smith.

Indeed, we're all watching as the numbers add up!