Now Passing California Coast December 1, 2014

Whales are counted as they migrate along the California coast by a team based near Los Angeles. The census takes places from December 1-May 20th. Alisa Schulman-Janiger, Director of the ACS/LA Gray Whale Census and Behavior Project, reported one southbound whale on Dec. 1 this year — and in six of the past 11 years. This year, earlier whales were sighted too:

"With 7 gray whales having passed our census site within the past week, it looks like the gray whales may have started their southbound migration early - just as NOAA whale scientist Wayne Perryman predicted - based on an extended abundant Arctic feeding season that allows them to potentially leave early with a well-padded blubber layer."

Newborn gray whale calf and mother enroute to Mexcio

Alisa Schulman-Janige (right), ACS/LA Gray Whale Census and Behavior Project