Malibu Gray Whale Migration

Brian Merrick | April 3, 2023

Every year around springtime nature’s longest migration occurs along the coastline of Malibu. The California Gray Whales once hunted to extinction are frequent visitors to the waters off Malibu.  The best place to observe the Gray Whale is at the Point Dume Headland natural preserve.  Gray Whale migration through Malibu begins around February and last through April as they migrate from the warm waters of Mexico to the Arctic waters for the summer.   Every year the Gray Whale travels over 10,000 miles in what is known to be the longest migration pattern on earth.  The Whales travel to the warm bays and lagoons in Mexico to give birth every winter and then return to the fertile feeding grounds of the Arctic every summer.  It is during the northward trek in spring that you can find them only feet from shore in Malibu at the Point Dume HeadlandsNo Sightseeing boats required.  Spend a day at Point Dume State Beach during February or March and you can find them close to shore scraping the barnacles off them on the bottom in the surf line.  These magnificent animals are as much as 50 feet long and weigh up to 40 tons, which is as much as 10 large elephants.   The Gray Whale can stay submerged for up to 15 minutes at a time.  Gray Whales eat small crustaceans and tube worms off the bottom.  They can eat up to a ton of food per day during the summer months.   Gray Whales do not have teeth but use a thin mesh like strainer known as a Baleen Plates to filter the food out of the water.   Traveling at 3-6 miles per hour the complete migration takes about 55 days.   During the travels to and from the Gray Whale can lose up to 8 tons of weight.  If you purchase a bluff home on Point Dume you could watch these travelers from your backyard.  Just one more reason Malibu is so special.


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