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NOW'S A WHALE OF A TIME TO SPOT THE GREAT GRAY GIANTS.

Byline: Winston Ross The Register-Guard

FLORENCE - With good weather, spring breakers can expect to see a bounty of ravenous gray whales making their way up the coast over the next week.

Spotters already have seen more than 50 whales as the peak migration season gears up, said Morris Grover, coordinator of "Whale Watching Spoken Here."

"We're seeing a lot of early whales," Grover said. "They are on the move."

Volunteers at 28 sites along the coast will help visitors spot the 70-ton mammals as they journey toward feeding grounds in Alaska, now that the water's a bit less cold up there.

March 24-31 is the annual Spring Whale Watch Week in Oregon and the best chance to spot a whale in motion, providing there's a good view of the ocean.

Nearly 2,500 whales were sighted during the 2006 Spring Whale Watch Week, Grover said. Although the migration happens twice a year - in the fall, the whales head south to warm waters in Baja to mate and give birth - spring is the better time to catch a glimpse.

"Spring always increases your chances of seeing whales," Grover said. "They're hungry, so they come closer to shore looking for food."

For more information, visit www.whalespoken.org

Winston Ross can be reached at rgcoast@oregonfast.net.
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Title Annotation:Animals
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Mar 25, 2007
Words:215
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