Journey North News: Spring 2011

Posted Wednesdays: Feb. 2, 16, March 2, 16, 30, April 13, 27, May 11.

FINAL Gray Whale Migration: May 11, 2011
The best season in four years continues as the peak migration of mom/calf pairs thrills whale watchers. Posts #6 and #7 have both counted 100 calves so far! According to the sea ice map, how far north can the whales go this week? Dig into the data and our journal page to sum up a season to celebrate. Thanks for joining us for the 2011 journey north! Image: Michael H. Smith

Gray Whale Migration: April 27, 2011
Whale mom/calf pairs are surging north in a week with good news and great news! In the past 13 days, ACS/LA volunteers spotted 98 northbound gray whales (including 36 calves)—the highest calf numbers to date since 2006. Thrills and chills abound in this week's Field Notes. What is the calf doing in this week's image? Image: Michael H. Smith

Gray Whale Migration: April 13, 2011
Whales have reached Kodiak Island, Alaska in time for Whale Fest.The northbound parade of cows and calves is starting right on time too, with official census Post #8 reporting the first pair on April 4. "Blows" are big in this week's report with an image, an activity, and a video clip with a surprise from the lagoon. Gray whales are honored for Earth Day 2011.
Photo: Wayne Perryman
Gray Whale Migration: March 30, 2011
Gray whales are surging northward. The first leaders have reached Alaska. Reports are flooding in from Washington, and California Post #7 set a sightings record. Our animated diagram shows the order of travel; what are the reasons behind it? Discover what's so unusual in our Image of the Week. Prepare your questions for the Gray Whale Expert.
Photo: Daniel Bianchetta
Gray Whale Migration: March 16, 2011
The migration is in full swing, with the leaders passing British Columbia. Spotters in California reported their first cow/calf pairs this week. In the nursery lagoons, serious spring training occupies the cow/calf pairs preparing for their journey north. Except for puzzling numbers at one post, it's shaping up as a whale of a migration!
Photo: Renee Bonner 
Gray Whale Migration: March 2, 2011
“We have a migration,” proclaimed Michael Smith after a big day of northbound sightings. Visit the lagoons in this week’s slideshows and video clip. Touching a baby whale, the teen in this image tells how it feels. What does it mean if a whale-watcher calls 'BLOW, 300 degrees at 45 mil'? Decode when you learn some whale watcher's lingo. Photo Keith Jones
Gray Whale Migration: February 16, 2011 
Whales are still arriving daily in Mexico but northbound sightings have begun. Our slideshow explores just how big these whales are: If your tongue weighed more than 1,000 pounds, you might be a gray whale! And is that a whale valentine in our Image of the Week? Discover why a gray's blow is heart-shaped and explore a tagged whale's travels. Photo Michael H. Smith
Gray Whale Migration: February 2, 2011 
Pacific gray whales are still southbound and the news from the whale trail is all good! Delighted observers predict a record year. Discover why gray whales rule when it comes to amazing animal migrations in a new slideshow. Take a team treasure hunt for facts about our whale observation posts as you get set for the 2011 journey north. Welcome!
Photo: Jim Dorsey
Baby gray whale

Welcome and Orientation 
In December, gray whales will begin arriving in the birthing lagoons of Mexico's Baja California coast. More whales will still be heading south than north, but that will change! After low counts in 2009 and 2010, how will this year's migration compare? Join us here on Feb. 2 for a new season of discoveries!
Photo Keith Jones