Oregon Coast Notes -
There are about 200-400 gray whales that do not go as far north as Alaska to feed in the summer. We generally have feeding whales on the central coast from July through October. These whales are very close to shore while feeding and can often be seen from many of the same locations as any other time of year. (See Map Below).
Gray whales can be seen year-round on the Oregon Coast.
For year-round Oregon Coast whale watchers and those watching for the first time, here are a few whale watching tips:
- Winter migration has the highest numbers (30 per hour) but the whales are usually farther off shore (1-5 miles) because of stormy weather..
- During the spring migration (northbound), the whales are more spread out (6 per hour) but they are closer to shore (1/2 - 3 miles), sometimes stopping to eat.
- Summer feeding whales are very close to shore and eat tiny mysid shrimp that live in the kelp beds. They may feed for hours in the same location.
- Bring your binoculars and dress for the weather. Focus your binoculars and have them ready, but watch with your eyes. When you locate a blow, then bring up your binoculars for a closer look.
- Morning light (with the sun at your back) is often helpful for spotting blows. Afternoon light reflects off the water and makes viewing difficult.
- Calmer days are better whale watching days, by land, sea or air!
- Any spot with an ocean view may yield whale sightings, but higher locations are better than sandy beaches.