Gray Whales are particularly easy to observe, as they are a coastal species and stay around the continental shelf. These whales have a particular feeding habit. They stir up the ocean floor in shallow coastal areas, sucking in the bottom dwelling creatures, mostly amphipods (related to shrimp).
While they are most easily seen in late winter and spring while headed north, they may be seen year-round on the Sonoma Coast. They may move south as early as the end of August, or as late as early into the next year. Sometimes they overlap migration patterns, with some whales still heading south while others are already returning north. Medium-sized for whales, the Gray Whale reaches up to about 45 feet in length and about 75,000 pounds in weight. For more information on these whales, check out the Oceanic Society. If you’d like to take a charter boat out to see the whales, check out Will’s Fishing Adventures. Or you can drive out to Bodega Head with a good pair of binoculars and check them out for yourself! Enjoy!