Observation Post #6
Los Angeles, California, United States
Scientific Survey Site
Northbound gray whales pass Los Angeles from February through May, on their return from Mexico after migrating south from December through February. The main pulse of northbound whales usually comes the second and third week of March. These are mostly adults and juveniles. A second pulse comes about 6 weeks later. These are the cow/calf pairs. Volunteers count migrating gray whales daily from Dec. 1 through May 15 from this site on Palos Verdes Peninsula in southern California, about 8 miles north of the Los Angeles Harbor. Thanks to The Gray Whale Census and Behavior Project by the the American Cetacean Society/Los Angeles Chapter (ACS/LA), Journey North shares the numbers and notes from Director Alisa Schulman-Janiger. Most gray whales travel farther offshore here. Sea conditions, wind, fog, and rain can keep observers from spotting the whales too. The result can be wide annual fluctuations in counts. Biologists don't make estimated population counts from the data, but they do see migration trends. The trends from this post closely mirror those seen from other gray whale census stations in California, even though observers can see only a small part of all the passing whales.