Grab your binoculars and head to the beach. The gray whales have begun their northward migration to their feeding grounds in the Bering and Chukchi seas by Alaska. Up to 18,000 whales will be passing by beginning this month through June. The juveniles travel first, followed by the adults, and lastly the mothers and calves swim by.
The Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department sponsor The Whale Watching Spoken Here Program which posts volunteers at points up and down the coast during the peak spring and winter migration times. This year’s spring Whale Watching Spoken Here week is March 23rd –March 30th. From 10 am- 1pm, trained volunteers will be available to answer all your questions about gray whales and teach you what to look for when trying to spot one. You might say they are fluent in whale. Here on the south coast in Coos and Curry counties volunteers will be at the following state parks:
Shore Acres (Coos Bay)
Face Rock Wayside (Bandon)
Battle Rock (Port Orford)
Cape Ferrelo Overlook and Harris Beach State Park (Brookings)
9th St Beach (Crescent City, CA)
If you miss meeting with a volunteer this week, don’t worry, they will be available during the southward migration in December. You can also see the whales migrating through June. The Oregon waters are also home to some 200 resident gray whales who do not migrate all the way north giving you the opportunity to spot a whale any time of year.
This information has been provided by Visit the Oregon Coast and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.