Twice a year, approximately 20,000 gray whales pass along the California coast on their way to breeding grounds in Mexico. The whales spend winter in the south and then travel back to their summer feeding grounds in the Arctic Sea. That means that, if the time is right, grab your binoculars, dress warmly and go whale watching.
One of the top whale-watching spots in the county is Bodega Head. About four miles long and one mile wide, Bodega Head sticks out into the ocean, providing a closer look at the traveling whales. On weekends from January through Mother’s Day, volunteers from the Whale Watch Public Education Program are at Bodega Head to answer questions and share their knowledge of whales and migration.
The annual north-to-south gray whale migration along Sonoma County’s coast peaks during the winter months. The annual south-to-north Pacific gray whale migration peaks from late winter through spring. The northerly migration is notable for the fact mother whales are accompanied by offspring making their first trip north, and these mother-calf pairs tend to travel closer to shore than the individual adults heading north.
March and April are great times to set out for a glimpse of migrating whales.