Calf Phase Begins: April 11, 2016
Alisa Schulman-Janiger reports from The Gray Whale Census and Behavior Project at Palos Verdes Peninsula near Los Angeles, CA (33.74N, -118.41W): "Our Phase B (cow/calf) migration is well ahead of all seasons to date. Last season at this time we were at 1481 northbound, including 19 calves, and that turned out to be a new record high northbound calf season! The Phase B migration usually peaks 4-8 weeks after the Phase A migration peak, which this year was Feb. 28-March 5 (a week earlier than last year). There are about the same number of calves reported in San Ignacio nursery lagoon this week compared to last year at this time—so we expect many more calves will be coming soon."

Gray Whales Count (34.40N, -119.69W) near Santa Barbara, CA has tallied 19 calves to date. Director Michael H. Smith reported just one mother/calf pair on April 10: "Approaching Counter Point, the calf was on the inside, and proud of his or her pickle face, which crinkled at the volunteer Counters on the way by."

From Pt. Piedras Blancas, CA (35.66N, -121.28W) comes news from biologist Wayne Perryman, conducting the government's annual gray whale cow/calf survey. "We started the survey on March 29th and we had 1 cow/calf pair during the first week along with 139 adults, and then 6 pairs the second week along with 36 adults. So the transition from the adult/juvenile phase of the migration to the cow/calf phase has begun. It should be a great year."

Kelp-covered baby gray whales migrating past Gray Whales Count

TWo calf-covered calves migrating north past California coast

Gray Whales Count