A group of Pacific gray whales known as the Sounders because they stop over in Puget Sound during their coastal migration is beginning to arrive in the region.

As of Wednesday, at least four had been seen in the area, where scientists with the nonprofit Cascadia Research Collective have found they tend to congregate in waters off Whidbey Island and feed on ghost shrimp.

Little Patch Beach - Tyson Reed, Island Adventures Whale Watching.JPG

A gray whale known as Little Patch shows its back Feb. 27 while foraging in waters between Whidbey and Camano islands.

Gray whale drone images

Aerial images of the gray whale known as Earhart, taken 18 days apart in May 2020 in north Puget Sound, shows how the whales called Sounders fatten up during this important feeding stopover around Whidbey Island.

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The eastern Pacific population of gray whales, which includes some that spend time in Washington state waters, was removed from the endangered species list in 1994 due to recovery.

More information: fisheries.noaa.gov/species/gray-whale.

— Reporter Kimberly Cauvel: 360-416-2199, kcauvel@skagitpublishing.com, Twitter: @Kimberly_SVH, Facebook.com/bykimberlycauvel

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