While it’s easy to find plenty of things to do while visiting San Diego, one of the most amazing naturally-occurring events happens just off the shores of the southern California coast.
The grey whale make their annual migration from the arctic waters of the Bering Sea to the warm waters of southern California and Mexico to breed during the winter months. Being one of the largest mammals on earth, the gray whale existed in two distinct populations in the world. The Western Population existed off the coasts of China, Russia, Japan and Korea and has been hunted to almost extinction. The Eastern Population, though hunted through the 19th and 20th centuries, has rebounded to a population between 18,000 and 24,000.
During the massive migration south, mothers find locations in warm, shallow bays and lagoons to birth their calves. The grey whale is the only whale to bear their young in these warm, sheltered waters. Calves and their mothers share strong bonds through the first several months of the young calf’s life.
The infographic below helps to further detail the culture of the grey whale population, their annual migration and the dangers they face.
When in San Diego, there are countless places and ways to experience this majestic event. Birch Aquarium at Scripps, Cabrillo National Monument or Torrey Pines State Reserve are just a few places with great views of the Pacific and the grey whale migration. There are also countless whale watching boating excursions that will take you close to the action (without harming the whales) and often provide a lot of great information on the whales and the San Diego area as a whole.