Gray Whale Greeting

It's been windy for a few days, too windy to head out into the Sea of Cortez for the past couple.

So we hopped in a car and drove over to the other side of Baja for to spend a few hours looking at gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) females with calves...quite a treat, since I've never seen gray whales before.

Gray whale calf (Eschrichtius robustus) with mother underneath
Gray whale calf (Eschrichtius robustus) with mother underneath

The recovery of the gray whale population that visits this area is a success story. Relatively docile and slow-moving while they are in the protected lagoons raising their young, these whales were hunted extensively back when killing whales was the in-thing.

These days, the whales enjoy the sheltered waters of Magdalena Bay, safe from both marine and human predators. Instead of hunting them, people go out in boats, letting curious whales approach and check everyone out.

Within the next month or so, these whales will leave, eventually heading north to feed in colder waters. Many of the calves won't make it, as they'll have to run the gauntlet of waiting orcas, but most hopefully will, with the females returning to this area in the future with their own adorable offspring.