Gray Whale Migration Update: March 21, 2007

Today's Report Includes:

  • Whale Watching: News from Observation Posts >>
  • Speak the Lingo: Whale-Watching Tips From Mike >>
  • Journal Question: How Far Out? >>
  • Tracking the Migration: A Peek at a Peak? >>
  • Conservation: Good News for the Lagoons! >>
  • Links: This Week's Gray Whale Resources to Explore >>


Is that a whale in the Santa Barbara harbor? See Slide Show! >>
Photo: Jean Louis
Whale Watching: News From Observation Posts >> 

The whales have reached Puget Sound! The parade of northbound Eschrichtius robustus appears to be in full swing. With 53 northbound whales counted so far in March, observers for Oregon’s Whale Watching Center are starting to see the first whales headed north to the Arctic. But folks still are awaiting the first returning whales in the waters of Kodiak, Alaska.

Next week, whale numbers past Oregon should increase and observers are ready! Oregon’s coast-wide "Whale Watch Week” is March 24-31, with volunteers counting whales passing 28 locations along the Oregon coast.

Meanwhile, in California the Gray Whales Count team has spotted a total of three northbound moms and babies. Peak numbers of northbound whales have been counted at both official counting stations on the California coast, but no mothers/babies yet for the ACS/Los Angeles post. And spring training is in full swing for babies in the lagoons. Click on the yellow arrows to see the latest news from our observation posts!

Read the news! >>

Speak the Lingo: Whale-watching Tips From Mike >>

In stormy seas, high winds, fog, clouds, rain or clear weather — the whales are heading north! What’s it like for the volunteers who spend long hours, watching and waiting to count passing whales? Would you be able to do it? Sure! Just take a few tips from ACS volunteer Mike Hawe. Learn the whale watchers’ lingo:

  • Whale Watchers' Lingo: How Far Offshore?>>

Photo Mike Hawe
Journal Question: How Far Out?

After you take Mike’s lesson (above), test your skills!

  • Pretend you're a whale watcher and fill in these blanks to call out the whale spout you see viewed in the binoculars:
    "BLOW! ____ degrees at ___ mil. The whale is ___ miles (____ kilometers) offshore."

Write your answer in your Gray Whale Journal. >>

Tracking the Migration: A Peek at a Peak?

After the turnaround, we look for pulses, or surges in sightings as the newly-pregnant females, the males and the juveniles of previous years head north. Then we look for the peak in those numbers (before the new moms and babies begin heading north). In California the peak week, on average, occurs anywhere from the end of February to the end of March. The average peak day over all years has been on March 18.

  • Do you think there's been a peak at LA? At Gray Whales Count near Santa Barbara, CA?
  • Graphing gray whale data through the whole season? Add the latest data. >>
Current Gray Whale Migration Data >>

Questions About This Week's Data >>
Conservation: Good News for the Lagoons! >>
Last time we told you that major Mexican TV network and its U.S. Hispanic network planned to use Television to help gray whales. The results are in, and it was a huge success! The effort raised over $3.5 million in Mexico and the United States — SEVEN times the $500,000 goal! The donations will be used by members of the Laguna San Ignacio Conservation Alliance to preserve the San Ignacio Lagoon, the last undeveloped gray whale birthing site in the world. More... >>
Links: This Week's Gray Whale Resources to Explore
  • Gray Whales for Kids: Gray Whale Antics >>
  • Highlights: Spring Training >>
  • Video Clip:Who's Kissing a Baby Whale? >>
  • Journals: Print Your Own Gray Whale Migration Journal >>
  • Lesson: Tracking Gray Whale Migration from California Observation Posts >>
More Gray Whale Lessons and Teaching Ideas!

The Next Gray Whale Migration Update Will Be Posted on April 4, 2007.