Gray Whale Migration News

Spring 2017
February - July
Watch this season's story unfold.

Gray whale migration: aerial view
Kate Wynne

Follow the whales' northward migration from nursery lagoons in Mexico to feeding grounds in the Arctic.

Daily Counts
From February to May, two research teams share data from the California coast, as northbound whales pass.

Tourists watch baby gray whale in San Ignacio Lagoon.
Keith Jones
spouting gray whale on migration
Alisa Schulman-Janiger
Gray whale and dolphins
Alisa Schulman-Janiger

Courting and Mating
January, 2017

During January, southbound gray whales are courting and mating along the migration route. Many of the migrants reach the warm lagoons of Mexico.

A Surprising Start
February 13, 2017

Unlike last season, the northbound migration did not start early. The migration is still in its southbound phase! Compare with last season.

Traveling North and South
February 28, 2017

California's had fog, wind, rain...and the second latest turnaround date in 34 seasons. Experts already call it a most interesting season!

Whale watchers see migrating whales from aboard the Condor Expresss
Michael H. Smith
northbound gray whales
Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept

Gray whale mother and calf on migration
Alisa Schulman-Janiger

Migration in Full Swing
March 13, 2017

The northbound migration is building. We've even had the season's first report of a northbound baby!

Peak Weeks
March 27, 2017

Large pulses swell the counts as the first northbound phase (non-calves) of gray whales peaks Mothers with babies, too!

Calf Phase Begins
April 10, 2017

The lull that follows the non-calf migration peak is giving way to the moms-with-babies parade. The first grays reached Alaska!

Gray whale mom and baby migrate past decommissioned oil platform baby gray whale surfacing in kelp Gray whale flukes as it dives at sunset

Calf Rush is ON!
April 24, 2017

The nursery lagoons of Mexico are emptying out and the migration of gray whale mothers-with-babies is building. Who is "Fingers"?

Calf Peak?
May 8, 2017

Mothers with babies now make up nearly all of the northbound whales passing the California coast. Have calf counts peaked?

The Home Stretch
May 30, 2017

The whale rush is over for another springtime. The counting has ended, and mothers with babies are well on their way home.


Migration News Archive