Whale Watching Center


Whale Watching Center

Infobox park
park=Whale Watching Center



image size=250px
caption=Whale Watching Center overlooks the Pacific Ocean where more than a thousand whales are seen each year
type=public, state
location=Lincoln County, Oregon, United States
coordinates=coord|44.810142|-124.06236|type:city_region:US|display=inline,title
size=<2000 sq ft plus outdoor viewing area
opened=November 2004 cite web
url = http://www.visittheoregoncoast.com/home.cfm?dir_cat=73026
title = Whale Watching On the Oregon Coast
publisher = Oregon Coast Visitors Association
date = December 212006
accessdate = 2007-04-12
]
operator=Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department
annual visitors=100,000
status=open every day during summer (also winter break and spring break); Wednesday through Sunday during autumn, winter, and spring) [ cite web
url = http://www.oregon.gov/OPRD/PARKS/WhaleWatchingCenter/wwc_info.shtml
title = Whale Watching Center
publisher = Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department
date = October 232006
accessdate = 2007-04-12
]

The Whale Watching Center is an Oregon State Parks staffed visitor center in Depoe Bay, Oregon, U.S.A. to help visitors observe whale migration and provide information about whales and other marine mammals including history, economics, and their environmental and ecological influences.

Approximately 18,000 whales migrate southward past the center from mid-December to end of January each year. The same number migrate northward, but are distributed throughout mid-March through the first week of June. cite web
url = http://www.oregon.gov/OPRD/PARKS/WhaleWatchingCenter/watch_weeks.shtml
title = Look for whales during Whale Watch Weeks
publisher = Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department
date = November 172005
accessdate = 2008-06-03
]

Gray Whales are the most commonly sighted whales year round along the Oregon Coast.Prime viewing is during the migration seasons of December through January and March through June. July will bring summer feeding whales with peak viewing August through October. Summer is when the whales are the closest to shore. [ cite web
url = http://www.oregon.gov/OPRD/PARKS/WhaleWatchingCenter/index.shtml
title = All about Whales
publisher = Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department
date = November 172005
accessdate = 2007-04-12
] Other types of whales observed are Humpbacks, Minkes, Orca, and sometimes Sperm and Blue whale.There are approximately one thousand five hundred unique whale individuals observed from the center each year. [ cite web
url = http://home.centurytel.net/thewhaleguy/
title = Live from the Whale Watching Center
accessdate = 2008-06-03
]

The center is free to enter, has binoculars for public use, and is out of the weather.

Winter migration brings the highest concentration of whales, with 18,000 passing Oregon from the last week of December through the first week of February, but winter also brings stormy conditions. Good viewing conditions make it possible to see up to thirty whales an hour but winter weather can make observation difficult and the rough seas usually cause the whales to travel farther from shore.

Spring migration brings the whales closer to shore, from a half mile to three miles (5 km) out, and it also brings better viewing weather. The whales are less concentrated as juveniles, adults and mother/baby pairs travel at different times. The last week of March is usually the beginning of the migration past Oregon and continues through the first week of June.Fact|date=June 2008 Mothers and calves are the slowest moving.

Whales sometimes spend the summer here instead of traveling to the Arctic. They feed on the clouds of crustaceans (Mysidacea) which hover around the kelp beds. Summer whales feed very close to shore; the best viewing is August through October.

See also

* List of Oregon State Parks

References

External links

* [http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_252.php Oregon State Parks facility summary]


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