Gray Whales Filmed Migrating South in Newport Beach, California

Drone footage captured off California’s southern coast shows six gray whales migrating south on January 22.

The footage was released by whale-watching tour company Newport Coastal Adventure and shows six whales traveling to Mexican waters, according to the company. The footage was filmed about five miles off the coast of Newport Harbor, the company said.

“As many as 22,000 individual gray whales are now making the annual migration down to the warm lagoons in Baja, Mexico, for breeding and calving purposes,” Jessica Roame, the company’s marine education program manager, wrote in a press release.

“Sometimes, just because they are all heading in the same direction at this time in the year, they will travel together like this group of six whales,” Roame added.

Kristin Campbell, Newport Coastal Adventure’s onboard naturalist and photographer, said, “We noticed some of the whales rolling around, touching bellies (might be a sign of possible courtship) and one whale proceeded to breach up to 7 times right in front of us.”

The gray whale migration can usually be viewed in Southern California from late November into April, Roame said. “Gray whales have the longest migration of any mammal, traveling 12,000 round trip from their feeding grounds in the Arctic to their calving grounds in Baja Mexico. To witness them behaving in this way is both wondrous and incredible.” Credit: Newport Coastal Adventure via Storyful