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The Gray Whale (Eschrichtus robustus) is probably the only seafloor feeder among the great baleen whales, often feeding in sand & mud sucking up shrimplike benthic amphipods, polychaete worms, and molluscs, as well as considerable amount of water, sand, and stones. Most feed by rolling onto their right side, but there are a few "lefties".

Fully grown Gray Whales attain a length of 43 feet (13m) for males, and 46 feet (14m) for females, and weigh as much as 35 tonnes. They reach sexual maturity at between 36-38 feet (11-12m) in length, and mate every 2 years. Calves are born after a 13 month gestation period, during a brief 5-6 week period beginning in late December. They are generally 15 feet (5m) in length at birth.

There are populations in the western and eastern North Pacific, but a further population in the North Atlantic was hunted to extinction in the early 18th century. Whalers referred to Gray Whales as "devilfish" due to the ferocity shown by mothers when separated from their calves, a natural defensive response given that Orcas are known to hunt down, and attempt to separate Gray Whale calves from their mothers. By the 1930s the species was almost extinct, but today there are thought to be 20,000 individuals in the eastern Pacific alone. This population makes an annual 12,000 mile (20,000 km) round-trip from Mexico to summer feeding grounds in Alaska, which brings them in close proximity to the west coast of Vancouver Island and the coastal waters of Northern BC. A few, mainly younger whales, make a shorter journey stopping and spending the in the area from Northern California to BC.

Gray Whales are a popular sighting on whale watching trips as they are often active at the surface, spy hopping, breaching, and lobtailing and surfing in shallow water.

On a Bear Trails tour you can witness the mass migration of Gray Whales off the west coast of Vancouver Island in March, April, and May, and off Northern BC from April through July. The west coast of Vancouver Island also plays host to a number of Gray Whales which habitually end their northward migration there and spend the entire summer and autumn (June through October) resting and feeding in sheltered bays and inlets around the coastal communities of Tofino and Ucluelet.

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