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Over One Thousand!

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Animal Updates | Mammals | Education | Whale Watching

Thursday, February 04, 2016


Over One Thousand!
Beautiful breaching gray! Here, you can see the blond colored baleen, the head, its eye, and the barnacles and whale lice living on its skin!  | Tim Hammond

That’s right, there have been over one thousand gray whales passing by Point Vicente either going north or south this migratory season! There have been about 1,292 total gray whales sighted! Now, as mentioned in the last blogs, this does not mean these are the only grays that have passed by the coast, but rather, the only grays that have been seen during the daytime hours by the American Cetacean Society’s annual census. This means that there are many more whales travelling past the island of Catalina and during the evening since there are 22,000 to 25,000 individuals in this population.

There have been some spectacular whale watches recently with multiple grays per trip and some great breaching behavior as well. Since we are getting closer to Valentine’s Day, we often see many courting grays around this time in February and even whales rolling around each other at the surface which often indicates mating behavior. There are some unique photos of gray whale mating behavior.

The last few weeks we have seen little activity from other species besides a few fin whales here and there, but the dolphins are still being sighted quite frequently. Along with the excellent shots we have this blog of the travelling grays, check out the dolphin photos that we have to share as well! One of my favorite photos this week is a shot of a cow/calf pair of gray whales with a bottlenose dolphin travelling alongside them. An added bonus to this shot is the rainbow seen within the blow of the mother gray whale.

Just like every January, we have hired our spring photo ID interns; Nicky, Kadi, Mackenna, and Allee! We would like to welcome them to the team and will be training them throughout February and showcasing their work throughout the next few blogs, so check them out! As always, we have some breathtaking photos from our awesome photographer friends including some amazing breaching photos that Tim Hammond said were from one of the top five best trips he has ever been on!

So, if you have always wanted to see a gray whale, or multiple gray whales, now is the time to book your ticket and come on out on a whale watching adventure! We even have a great deal that includes a whale watch and tickets to the Aquarium of the Pacific! This is a really great deal.

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