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Migrating Whales Offer Landlubbers A Viewing Party Extraordinaire

Tail fluke.
Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept.
Tail fluke.

The holiday season isn't quite over...so what's one to do between Christmas and New Year's?

Whale watching, according to Oregon Parks and Recreation officials.

Tail fluke.
Credit Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept.
/
Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept.
Tail fluke.

Luke Parsons is a ranger with the Depoe Bay Whale Watching Center.  He says December 27th through the 31st is Whale Watching Week.

"During the winter, we are pretty lucky," says Parsons.  "We get to watch about 20,000 gray whales as they migrate past the Oregon Coast on their way to Mexico.

Whale Watching volunteers at Cape Meares.
Credit Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept.
/
Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept.
Whale Watching volunteers at Cape Meares.

"These whales are headed south to breed or to give birth to their young.  This time of year the animals are traveling between three and five miles off of shore, so a good pair of binoculars is a good thing to have with you."

Trained volunteers will be at 24 different sites along the Oregon Coast, sharing information on the gray whales.

Credit Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept.
/
Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept.

Sometimes, orcas and humpbacks are also spotted.

Copyright 2016 KLCC

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. He is a 20-year reporter who has worked at NPR, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including three Edward R. Murrow Awards and the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award in 2012.