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New World Record of Gray Whales in Ojo de Liebre Lagoon

By Shari Bondy

On March 5th,  the gray whale census revealed a record number of gray whale calves. Usually the peak numbers of whales is in mid February so it was a surprise to all that the numbers increased and there were more whales than ever before in recorded history in the calving lagoon near Guerrero Negro. The last highest count was in 1997, with 970 calves born.

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Mom and baby meet another mom and baby!

There were 1,523 adult whales and a world record of 1,198 calves for a total of 2,721 whales in the lagoon!  The other lagoons report normal numbers of whales.

The whale watching has been superb, with most pangas reporting “friendly” whale behavior—meaning that the whales seek out caresses from people. It was an excellent season for all the whale lagoons, which helps the economy of central Baja.

I am fortunate to guide whale trips to this lagoon and this year on my birthday, it was a special treat to have my daughter (who was conceived in the lagoon) and my grandson along.

The bird watching in the lagoon is another world class activity with so many species of shore birds, geese, ducks, and some rare species like stilts, peregrine falcons, and white pelicans, just to name just a few.  There were dozens of huge osprey nests all along the canals and we got to see several newborn chicks in the nests.

It is the best place in the world for whale watching, so absolutely plan to put this on your list of things to do in Baja.

 

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