PHOTO: Gray Whale Spotted Off Burien’s Seahurst Park Beach Tuesday Morning

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Around 11:15am on Tuesday, March 1st, Burien Parks Director Michael LaFraniere sent out the following Tweet:

Sources tell us a 40-ft long gray whale was spotted feeding about 10am this morning approx 100 ft from the beach at Seahurst Park in #Burien

We were able to reach Miriam Castro at the Environmental Science Center, and she shared with us the following photo that she took of the whale, which, while isn’t “great,” still shows its size:

Here’s a closeup of the same pic, which Miriam says “looks kind of like the Loch Ness Monster!”:

According to the Orca Network’s tutorial on gray whales:

In late winter or early spring gray whales begin to arrive along Pacfic Northwest coastal waters from winter migrations. In various fertile mudflats from Oregon to the Bering Sea they find invertebrates burrowing in the mud. By digging up the mudflats for shrimp and worms and leaving pits that attract all sorts of detritus and prey items, gray whales increase the productivity of the mudflats for sea ducks such as scoters, and for themselves a year later.

The Gray whale gets its name from its mottled gray skin, which is covered with barnacles and whale lice. Many biologists believe Gray whales may have been among the first of the great whales to have evolved into their present form.

They are 15′ – 16′ at birth, live to be 50 years or more, and grow to a length of 40′ – 45′ and a weight of approx. 30 tons, reaching sexual maturity at five to eleven years of age.

The Gray whale has two blowholes, and its spout resembles a heart shape.

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2 Responses to “PHOTO: Gray Whale Spotted Off Burien’s Seahurst Park Beach Tuesday Morning”
  1. So glad I found this report through a Google News search – it’s the first Gray whale report we’ve seen this spring! Thanks for linking to the Orca Network website for Gray whale (& orca) info. – also, we encourage everyone to report whale sightings to us at [email protected], by calling 1-866-ORCANET, or by posting the sighting on our Orca Network Facebook page – thanks!

  2. Island Adventures Whale Tours says:

    Great Job and thanks for letting everyone know. We start our Gray Whale Tours this Saturday (March 5th) out of Everett, and we have been anxiously waiting. Thanks again – Island Adventures Whale Watching Tours.

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