DEPOE BAY, Ore., Jan. 19 (UPI) — The first few weeks of 2010 have been some of the best in years for whale watching from California to Washington, wildlife officials say.
Whale-watchers at 24 sites in Oregon and one site each in Washington and California have spotted nearly 1,000 whales heading south to winter feeding grounds near Baja California, Mexico.
That’s nearly three times as many whales as were spotted during sightings in 2005, when calm weather allowed for similar sightings, said Morris Grover, head of the Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay, Ore.
About 18,000 grays and 1,100 humpbacks began the southern migration, led by pregnant females, in late December to be in Baja by February.
“There are just so many whales going by, it is just stunning,” Grover told The (Portland) Oregonian in a story published Tuesday.
The females will give birth in the warmer waters of Baja and fatten their calves on 55 percent milk before starting north for Alaska about early March.
Whale milk “makes our shakes look like diet drinks,” Grover said.
Copyright 2010 by United Press International