Gray whales will be counted as they migrate along coast

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Migrating gray whales will once again be passing along the Oregon coast this winter, where visitors and volunteers will gather for the annual Winter Whale Watch Week.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the five-day event is organized by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and will run from Dec. 27 to 31.

It coincides with the passing of some 20,000 gray whales headed south to their warm breeding grounds near Baja, Mexico.

The parks department will staff trained volunteers at 24 designated whale watching locations along the coast from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on each of the five days of the event.

The gray whales will pass again in late March, as they head north to feeding grounds off the shore of Alaska, with some feeding off the Oregon and Washington coast through spring and summer.