gray whale migration california

The white patches are variations in pigmentation, scars and even barnacles and whale lice. Gray whales have the longest known migration of any mammal. Oceanic Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to ocean conservation. BIRDSONG and the ECO-WONDERS have created this fun, educational video for kids about the California Gray Whale. Every year of their lives they swim more than 10,000 miles roundtrip, between nursery lagoons in Mexico to feeding grounds in the Arctic. Near-shore ocean bottom areas must contain large amounts of food to support the enormous summer feeding habits of grays. Your participation in our whale watching trips helps fund our global ocean conservation programs and local programs including the Captain Roger Thomas Scholarship Fund, which gives whale watching experiences to groups and individuals in the San Francisco Bay Area that otherwise might not have the opportunity to do so. http://www.birdsongandtheecowonders.com. Great places to look for gray whales include: Crescent Beach Overlook (Crescent City, Calif.) and Klamath River Overlook (Requa, Calif.). These individuals belong to what scientists call the. Gray whale calves will nurse for approximately seven months and will stay by their mom's side for up to nine months. They are unable to defend themselves from human activity and intense industrialization along their migration route. That’s a good thing for whale watchers: It is quite predictable, where to meet them at a certain time. January: Open ocean birds like murres and auklets seek a reprieve in calmer waters along the coast and elephant seal breeding season has begun at Año Nuevo State Park. Gray whales have the longest migration of any mammal Their migration is between 10,000 and 12,000 miles round trip every year from the winter calving lagoons in the warm waters of Baja California, to the summer feeding grounds in the cold Arctic Seas. The goal of Mendonoma Whale and Seal Study is to enhance understanding of the presence of marine mammals along the coast of California. The whales undertake this enormous journey to take advantage of the huge amounts of food available in Arctic region in the summer as well as the protected warm winter waters of the Gulf of California for birthing their young. This is an excellent time to see migrating gray whales along the California coast, with large numbers of whales traveling northward. It was assumed that the entire population of approximately 20,000 California (or eastern Pacific) gray whales migrated the whole way from Baja to the Bering and Chukchi Seas non-stop. Breaching Behavior: Though not quite as acrobatic as the humpback whale, gray whales will emerge from the water and land in a giant splash, a behavior known as breaching. Gray whales migrate 10,000 miles round trip every year, traveling between their winter calving lagoons in Mexico and summer feeding grounds in the Arctic. The gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus), also known as the grey whale, gray back whale, Pacific gray whale, or California gray whale, is a baleen whale that migrates between feeding and breeding grounds yearly. Like people, gray whales show left and right side preference! Amanda earned a Bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of San Diego and a Master’s in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Most whales arrive to Baja's lagoons during January and February, and by mid-March the majority of the population has reached the lagoons where they will mate and calve. During this time, the mother and calf pairs are known for their curious and "friendly" behavior, whereby they actively seek out interaction with whale watchers (e.g. Led by Oceanic Society's local wildlife experts, our 3-hour whale watching tours from Half Moon Bay let you experience the gray whale’s annual migration. Newborn gray whale calves are about 15 feet long and weigh 1,500 lbs. The Pacific Gray Whale, Eschrichtius robustus, is related to the Humpback Whale and the Fin Whale, but is distinctive enough to be placed in its own family and genus—the Gray Whale has noticeably shorter baleen plates in its mouth, different skeletal proportions, and lacks the deep throat folds found in other whales. Aside from the seasonally migrating gray whales there is also a small population that spends its year traveling between Canada and California rather than making the long 7,000 mile journey towards the Alaskan waters from the Gulf of California and the Baja peninsula of Mexico. 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