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Oregon Coast Whale Watch Week Begins Soon, Includes Live Stream

Published 03/17/2019 at 4:53 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Oregon Coast Whale Watch Week Begins Soon, Includes Live Stream

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(Oregon Coast) – Numbers and sightings of Gray whales have already been good in this area in the last two weeks, so in comes the climax. The Spring Whale Watch Week festival of cetaceans returns to the Oregon coast, March 23 through 31, offering help in spotting the mighty, watery beasts on their peak migration northward. (Above: drone footage of gray whale from Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department)

Some 20,000 Gray whales are expected to wander past this coastline over the period stretching from March into early summer, but the biggest chunk of them appears right about now. Whale Watch Week brings dozens of trained volunteers from the Whale Watching Spoken Here program to various high vantage points, assisting visitors in seeing the spectacle. These people are stationed from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. every day of the event. A map of the 24 volunteer-staffed sites is available on whalespoken.org.

All of these are higher spots, such as major headlands like Yaquina Head, Neahkahnie Mountain, Ecola State Park, Cape Perpetua, Cape Meares, etc. In Lincoln City, the only spot is the top of the Inn at Spanish Head hotel.

One of the newer features this year: the Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay will have a webcam streaming live from its viewpoint. Last year was the first year for this, and it showed a lot of dead time in between whales. Still, those that happened upon the webcam at the right time got plenty of whale thrills. You can see it on the Oregon State Parks YouTube channel.

Gray whales are currently migrating north from the birthing regions of Baja, Mexico towards Alaskan waters. Many of the pods will have new calves in tow.

Also in the mix: you may see some Humpback whales as well. There have been recent reports of Orcas too, which were apparently on their way to the Astoria area to feed on the inundation of seals there. However, that area has not reported them yet. Killer whales often show up in April along the central Oregon coast to feed on the migrating baby gray whales, so it’s possible they will make a showing as well.

Every year, there are what officials call the “resident whales” along the central coast, attracted to this area because of lots of krill and mysid shrimp. Many linger here during the migration, often stopping to dine.

These areas are full of this food source because of the thick kelp forests. Gray whales chomp on about 500 pounds to 2,000 pounds of the tiny creatures every day.

See Best Lodging for Whale Watching - Where to eat - Maps - Virtual Tours








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